‘The Boy in the Tent’ to end charity camping challenge after three years

‘The Boy in the Tent’ to end charity camping challenge after three years
Max, then 11, pictured at ZSL London Zoo (Aaron Chown/PA)
PA Archive/PA Images - Aaron Chown

A 13-year-old boy who has camped in a tent for the past three years is ending his challenge after raising more than £600,000 for charity.

Max Woosey, from Braunton in Devon, has directly funded 15 nurses for a year at North Devon Hospice by spending every night in a tent since March 28, 2020.

The teenager, who was awarded the British Empire Medal last year, was inspired to help the hospice after staff cared for close family friend Rick Abbott, 74, in the last days of his life.

Before he died, Mr Abbott, a keen camper and outdoor sports enthusiast, gave Max his tent, telling him: “Promise me you’ll have your own adventures in it.”

Three years on, Max has camped in dozens of unexpected places including a night in London Zoo, on a hotel balcony and in the garden of 10 Downing Street.

Almost 2,000 other young people across the world raised money for their own charities through Max’s Big Camp Out.

Max will now hold a final celebratory camp-out festival at Broomhill Estate in North Devon on April 1.

He told Good Morning Britain: “My friend Rick was absolutely amazing, that’s why I started it. He loved the outdoors, sports and we got along really well.

“Of course he gave me the tent and said ‘Max I want you to have an adventure in it’ and I said ‘I’ll promise you I will’. Sadly he died just before Covid of cancer.

“The North Devon Hospice took such brilliant care of him that I wanted to say thank you in the biggest way I could. So I started sleeping outside to raise as much money as I could for them.”

He described camping in the gardens of Downing Street in 2021, with then-prime minister Boris Johnson’s dog Dilyn causing “difficulties”.

“He really liked my teddy and I remember running round the garden chasing him with his mouth on the tail,” Max said.

“I spent about 20 minutes running after the dog before getting him back.”

Max was asked how it would feel returning to his own bedroom following three years of camping outside.

“It’s been a brilliant three years, I’ve had some brilliant experiences and I just want to thank everyone that’s supported me and donated to the cause,” he said.

“I think it’s going to feel a bit weird coming back inside but I think the time has come to an end sadly, and I think the next adventure is waiting for me.”

Donations to Max’s challenge can be made at

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