A five-year-old girl from Hertfordshire who has raised thousands for a local hospice has received a special donation from David Beckham.
To raise money for Garden House Hospice, Betty-Leigh Allinson has been cycling for a mile every day from her home in Codicote, near Hitchin. A keen football fan, she has been wearing a different club's top each time. Teams from across the Anglia region and the UK have sent Betty-Leigh shirts, as has footballing legend David Beckham.
Beckham sent a delighted Betty-Leigh a signed Inter Miami FC shirt. The British footballer co-owns the Florida club.
"What an amazing surprise!" Betty-Leigh wrote on her fundraising page. "It doesn’t get much better than this."
Garden House Hospice tweeted that they were "overwhelmed by the support from David Beckham". The organisation provides free specialist hospice care for North Herts, Stevenage, Royston and the surrounding areas.
Betty-Leigh learnt about the challenges the organisation faces through her grandmother, who works there."They have had to cancel all fundraising events and close the charity shops, meaning they will lose around £25,000 a week," the five-year-old said.
Along with the hospice, Betty-Leigh has been cycling for her grandfather, ex-Arsenal player Ian Allinson.
"He used to be an Arsenal player," Betty-Leigh said. "My favourite Arsenal player now is Dan Ballard."
Along with a shirt from Beckham, Betty-Leigh has donned tops from local clubs, including the following:
- Royston Town FC
- Luton Town Ladies FC
- Cambridge United FC
- Stevenage FC
Despite racking up the miles, Betty-Leigh is not a seasoned cyclist. "I have just learnt to ride my bike without stabilisers during lockdown," she wrote on her fundraising page. "I have started off my fundraising with the £7 I had saved for Disneyland, as I can't go now."
At the time of writing, the young fundraiser had raised 22 times her initial target of £500.
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