Leeds schoolboy who witnessed Manchester Arena bombing spent summer raising funds for families

Liam Wilson, 11, has tackled nine challenges in aid of the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund.
Liam Wilson, 11, has tackled nine challenges in aid of the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund.

Leeds schoolboy Liam Wilson and his family were among the audience at Manchester Arena on May 22 when a suicide bomber claimed the lives of 22 people and left many others seriously injured.

Although they were all lucky enough to have escaped physical injury, the experience left its mark in others way and made Liam determined to do what he could to help those who had been less fortunate.

Liam Wilson completes a Total Warrior challenge.

Liam Wilson completes a Total Warrior challenge.

Within weeks, the former Morley Newlands Academy pupil had set himself nine fundraising challenges with the modest goal of raising £100 for the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund – a £1 from each of his 100 Instagram followers.

Liam’s dad, Dan Wilson, said: “We were pretty shell-shocked on the night to be honest. With all he had seen in the arena and on the news, Liam wanted to try to do a bit to help people.

“He came to us and came up with the idea to try to find things he could do to raise a bit of money. We’re really proud of him and have been getting behind it and supporting him.”

From fun runs and Tough Mudders to the Doncaster Labyrinth Challenge and climbing Mount Snowdon, it has been a busy summer holiday for 11-year-old Liam.

With all he had seen in the arena and on the news, Liam wanted to try to do a bit to help people.

Dan Wilson, Liam’s dad

Dan, 30, of Rydal Drive, Morley, said: “Liam likes to get covered in mud so he’s had a lot of fun with it along the way.

“The really tough one was walking up and down Mount Snowdon. That was probably the hardest one we did.”

JUSTGIVING AWARDS: Vote for Liam in the Young Fundraiser category

Liam, who joined Bruntcliffe Academy in Morley this week, had plenty of people rooting for him, including mum Vikki, 28, and sister Sophia, six.

Liam Wilson climbed Mount Snowdon for another of his challenges.

Liam Wilson climbed Mount Snowdon for another of his challenges.

The team at Joe G’s Fitness Centre in Morley have also given Liam some training tips.

And having raised more than £900 to date, Liam has been named as a finalist in the national JustGiving Awards.

Almost 31,000 fundraisers were nominated this year, but Liam is one of just three now in the running for the Young Fundraiser of the Year prize.

“He was shocked, he wasn’t expecting it,” said Dan.

Liam Wilson with his Run for All medal in Leeds.

Liam Wilson with his Run for All medal in Leeds.

“We didn’t know it was something he could be put forward for but his auntie put him forward. We just got an email out of the blue.

“We’re excited now about going down to the ceremony in London in November.”

In the meantime, the family hope people in Leeds will back Liam while the online vote takes place to choose the winner.

They also hope to push the total raised to £1,000.

Anyone wishing to donate can do so by visiting www.justgiving.com/fundraising/liam-wilson12 or texting LAMW91 £1 (or other sums) to 70070.

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