Inspirational five-year-old Leeds girl's run challenge raises £11,500 for charity

A five-year-old Leeds girl who was born with a rare liver disease inspired more than 200 children to take part in a February run challenge which has raised more than £11,500 for the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation.

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 11:45 am
Mick and Emma Biutterfield with their daughter Ada, five, from Allerton Bywater . Photo: Gary Longbottom

Ada Butterfield and her mum Emma, of Allerton Bywater, started the virtual fundraising challenge when they decided to each run a total 20 miles in February.

Dozens of parents and their children from the village and surrounding areas signed up to take part after finding out about it.

And a total of 230 children took part and helped raise a running total of £11,500 for the foundation.

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Ada Butterfield, five, in the foreground (centre) from Allerton Bywater with some of her frIends ahaed of the virtual fundraising run. Photo: Gary Longbottom

Emma said: "It is just unbelievable and exceeded every expectation I had.

"It’s been such a lovely experience and created such a buzz in the local community.

"Ada has smashed it running in all weathers.

"She has loved the challenge and said she can’t wait to be big so she can do the London Marathon.

"We have had some lovely messages from the parents thanking us for organising and giving the kids something to focus on and get out the house for.

"The charity is blown away with the amount raised, and it’s still coming in."

Alison Taylor, chief executive of the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation, said: “This is just an incredible achievement.

"Like many charities, we have been hit hard by the pandemic and the money raised will help us to ensure that we can continue to provide vital information and support to families throughout the UK who need us now more than ever.

"We are amazed, not only by Ada and Emma’s commitment to clocking up those miles but to the way they have motivated so many others to join them. They are truly inspirational.”

Dozens of children from Ada’s school, Lady Elizabeth Hastings Primary School in Ledston, took part in the challenge

The Butterfield family has now helped raise more than £58,000 for the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation by staging a wide range of fundraisers and run challenges since Ada was born with rare liver disease, biliary atresia.

The disease means she will need a lifetime of treatment and possibly a liver transplant.

Emma and Ada’s dad Mick have both previously run London Marathons.

Emma was due to run the London Marathon in aid of the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation in April 2020, but the race was cancelled due to the pandemic.

Instead, the family staged a 2.6-mile running challenge in Allerton Bywater, which raised £4,000 for the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation.

Villagers lined the streets to cheer Ada on as she took part in the #TwoPointSixChallenge, an initiative to help save charities from folding during the lockdown.