Action for Children recruits 'boy in the tent' to promote its annual sleepout

Eleven-year-old Max Woosey will sleep out at London Zoo to raise awareness of Action for Children's Boycott your Bed event

Max Woosey
Max Woosey

Max Woosey, the 11-year-old who has been sleeping in a tent for more than a year to raise funds for North Devon Hospice, will sleep out at London Zoo to raise awareness of an annual fundraiser for Action for Children. 

Action for Children said it had arranged for Woosey to pitch his tent near the lions’ enclosure tonight to promote its Boycott your Bed sleepout, which encourages people to sleep in an unusual location to raise funds. 

The event, which takes place on Friday, has been going for more than 20 years in various forms. 

The charity said ZSL London Zoo had agreed that Woosey could carry out activities including helping keepers care for the zoo’s Madagascan ring-tailed lemurs, animals that he one day hopes to be able to see in the wild. 

Woosey began sleeping out in a tent in his garden in March last year, after a neighbour, who later died of cancer, gave him a tent to have an adventure in. 

His ongoing sleepout has raised more than £530,000 for North Devon Hospice, which supported Woosey’s neighbour during the final stages of his life. 

He said: “Having slept in my garden for 459 nights, I can’t wait to boycott my bed at London Zoo with all its incredible animals around me.

“It’s going to be fun and I can’t wait to hear them in the early hours – particularly the lions, who are my neighbours for the night. I’m hoping I will hear them roar loudly near my tent!” 

Tim O’Neill, managing director of children’s services at Action for Children, said: “Having boycotted his own bed for over a year now, Max is the ultimate adventurer and we can’t wait to see what he gets up to through the night at the zoo.”

This year’s Boycott your Bed will include a virtual event that aims to connect the 1,500 people who have pledged to take part through entertainment and activities including a show by the magician Dynamo and appearances from famous faces including the presenter Angela Rippon, the actor and writer Jessica Hynes, and Giovanni Pernice and Luba Mushtuk from Strictly Come Dancing.

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