By Gwen Lardner
A schoolboy from has raised £2,000 for a food bank by inviting friends and family to sponsor his achievements on an online maths game.
Eight-year-old Ray Rosen-Rawlings, from Shortlands, set himself a challenge to double his score on Times Tables Rock Stars in the six weeks leading up to Christmas.
It meant him dedicating at least half an hour a day to hit his target.
Times Tables Rock Stars is a popular educational tool that motivates children to improve the speed and accuracy of their times tables.
Correct answers are rewarded with virtual coins and classmates compete against each other to reach the highest score.
Despite being the youngest child in his class, Ray’s aptitude for maths enabled him to top his school’s leader board, earning himself 500,000 virtual coins over two years.
When he discovered in November that another child had earned a million coins, Ray set himself a target to match this score by Christmas.
With just 47 days before the deadline, he had to sacrifice precious TV time in order to answer an average of 185 questions correctly within three-minute quickfire rounds.
Ray first learnt about food banks at Cub Scouts and his family regularly donated food during the lockdown.
On a day out in the summer, he showed his willingness to help those less fortunate: “I went to an arcade with my grandpa and won some coins which I then gave to a homeless person,” he said.
“I want to help people and food is the one thing you need to survive.”
When Ray set himself the challenge, mum Emily suggested he do it in support of the Bromley food bank, which has centres across the borough and is part of the Trussell Trust network.
She helped him set up an online sponsorship page, enabling Ray’s friends, family and teachers to donate to the cause.
His original target was £500 and the current total is £1,741. Ray’s family have
committed to rounding this up to £2,000.
Amanda Stone, project manager for Bromley food bank, was delighted to hear about Ray’s efforts: “It is remarkable that someone of his age has raised such a significant sum for those reliant on the food bank this Christmas.
“Our hampers provide individuals and families with some much-needed cheer at what is a financially challenging time of year for so many.”
For information on how to support or to get help from the food bank, click here.
Pictured top: Eight-year-old Ray Rosen-Rawlings, from Shortlands
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