Eight-year-old pupil Ella Woodcock has run, cycled and walked 100km to raise money for homeless women. 

Ella was so affected by a photo exhibition by the homeless charity Turning Tides that she saw whilst walking along the beach with her mum that she became determined to try and help. 

Mum Mrs Woodcock, who teaches at Brighton Girls Prep, said: “Turning Tides has an exhibition in collaboration with the Brighton Womens Centre called “Hidden & Hunted” which details photos taken by homeless women living on the streets.  We were walking on the seafront one day, where the exhibition is, and Ella was curious about the photos and the story behind them.  We naturally had a discussion around why women are more vulnerable when they are homeless and Ella was really keen to do something to help.” 

Inspired by charity fundraising races her mum had done before, Ella set about setting up a Just Giving page with the aim to raise £500 and began planning her challenge. 

Added Mrs Woodcock: “Ella asked me what a manageable distance would be and we pretty much doubled it!  The whole family helped her with her challenge.  I did most of the running and cycling with her and the whole family and the dogs did all the walking.  She is not allowed out on her own yet of course so we had to help.  We worked out some nice, safe cycling routes along the seafront and the Downslink and tried to cover as much ground as possible but she was really self-motivated. “ 

“We are really proud of her.  Not only did she come up with the idea on her own, she was also really motivated to cover the distance and share her fundraising far and wide.  She put regular updates on her page so the people who supported her could follow her progress and she even spoke in assembly at school about her challenge and the people it would hopefully go some way to helping.” 

Ella added: “It was hard work sometimes, especially cycling into the wind on the seafront sometimes, but I am proud to have raised so much money to help others.” 

Now Ella has smashed her target and has raised £658 – with Turning Tides Zoom calling her to thank her and sending her a medal and a hamper of goodies in the post. 

Brighton Girls Prep head Laura Comerford said: “For such a young girl to take on a challenge like this in order to help others shows great empathy and we are incredibly proud of her determination and strength of character. She really is an inspirational little girl.”