SIR Terry Wogan Young Fundraiser of the Year, Dante Valaydon-Pillay, has just completed the second in a series of 12 charity challenges to raise money for Children in Need.
The 12-year-old, who is a pupil at St John’s-on-the-Hill in Tutshill near Chepstow, has set out to tackle a new challenge every month for a year.
Last month he climbed up and abseiled down the Avon Gorge rock face in Bristol.
And on Sunday, he completed the second task, running the 5k parkrun at Tredegar Park.
And having won the first ever Sir Terry Wogan Young fundraiser award a year ago, next Friday (November 17), he will be mingling with the stars when he travels to Media City in Manchester for the live Children in Need broadcast, to take in three hours of comedy, music and surprise guests, courtesy of VIP tickets and backstage passes.
After raising more than £1,500, Dante has decided to try to raise even more by doing another charity challenge.
He said: “I love charity work. The best bit is knowing that I’ve helped other kids”.
He decided that doing a year long series of challenges was perfect.
His mother said, “Dante came to me and said he loved his five-day hike for Children in Need so much he wanted to do lots more. I asked Dante what he had in mind and he presented me with a list of things he’d like to have a go at”.
And having climbed 210ft up and abseil 90ft down Clifton Gorge, Bristol last month, he joined the ‘park run’ community to complete his 5k at the weekend.
Wearing his special yellow Children in Need hoodie and Mountain Warehouse-sponsored kit, he launched out with a message of support from Will Renwick, the first person to run all 189 of Wales’ mountains in one trip.
Will said: “Good luck Dante! Remember to stretch after too – and make sure you’re fuelled up!”
Dante had intended to join the runners the previous day, but due to the atrocious weather he joined the Sunday runners instead.
They were there to complete a 2k run, but Dante determined to complete his planned 5k and ran the 1k route five times.
On finishing, the other runners and members of the public cheered him on as he crossed the finish line. Mission completed!
Catching his breath, he said: “Oh my goodness! Wow, I’ve done it!... 5k non-stop… My training has paid off and I’ve done it!
“It was a lot longer than I imagined, but I’m glad I gave it a go. Actually, I quite enjoyed it! I think I’m going to keep on running!”
He is now looking forward to his third ‘Bake Off’ challenge in December, when he aims to bake over 50 individual Christmas cakes for the elderly residents of Penpergwym House in Abergavenny.
He has already spent several hours there planning the challenge with Nikki Burrage, catering manager and cook.
She said, “It was lovely to meet such a talented individual and the residents thoroughly enjoyed your company we look forward to seeing you again in December”.