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Olympian Sir Chris helps 11-year-old raise £4K with Philippines bike ride

An 11-year-old boy has raised thousands of pounds for children affected by the Philippines typhoon - with a little help from Olympian Sir Chris Hoy.

Charlie Simpson was so upset by news of last month's disaster that he decided to take action by organising a 40km (25-mile) bike ride.

He even had some expert advice on the eve of his challenge, with Sir Chris taking part in a training ride with Charlie and offering some last-minute tips.

The schoolboy, from Fulham, west London, has so far raised more than £4,000 for Unicef's Philippines children's emergency appeal, which will help them provide emergency food, water and medicines to those in need.

It took Charlie just under four hours to complete the challenge in Fulham's South Park, accompanied by his dad Dan Simpson and 12-year-old friend Sophia Ground.

Charlie said: "It was really, really hard but at the end I felt quite proud of myself.

"I saw all of the pictures of the typhoon on the news and it made me feel sad. I felt I had to do something about it and I wanted to help the children in the Philippines get food, water and shelter.

"I didn't anticipate quite how far it was. When I got to 30km, I got quite tired. But then I thought of the children in the Philippines, and decided: 'I've cycled 30km, I can do another 10km.'

"I'm really happy at raising so much money. I had hoped to make £500."

He said that Sir Chris, whom he met for a training ride in Richmond, west London, advised him to drink plenty of water during the ride and to have a good breakfast.

"It was really exciting to meet him and he gave me some good training tips," said Charlie.

In January 2010, when he was seven, Charlie cycled five miles to raise money for Unicef following the Haiti earthquake. On that occasion, he raised £260,000 and was invited to 10 Downing Street to meet then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown in recognition of his achievement.

The following year, he was part of a group of 200 children and young people from east London who cycled a total of 450 miles - the same distance walked by Somali families fleeing the famine in East Africa.

To donate to Charlie's bike ride visit www.unicef.org.uk/charlie.

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