A KIND-HEARTED youngster who has won awards for his tireless charity work has set himself a new challenge on two wheels in a bid to spread festive cheer this Christmas.
Last year Duddingston schoolboy Cody McManus managed to fill an entire full size boxing ring with donated toys after creating a Christmas Toy Box Appeal to help children living in poverty.
Now the nine-year-old has swapped toys for bicycles as he gears up for a 36-mile cycle challenge in a bid to raise £3,000 to buy new bikes for youngsters who can’t afford to have their own.
Keen boxer Cody, winner of this year’s Evening News Child of Achievement award, hopes to raise the cash through sponsorship by cycling from the Falkirk Wheel to Holyrood Boxing Gym.
Writing on his online fundraising page, Cody explained he was inspired to fundraise for bicycles after he realised not all children had their own when doing Bikeability sessions at school. He said: “I hope to raise as much money as I can to purchase shiny new bikes for local children in time for Xmas.
“From two-year-old balance bikes to larger bikes allowing teenagers to perhaps cycle to school or be able to socialise outdoors with their friends.
“Through contact with social workers and schools the bikes will then be distributed to local children in time for Xmas! Hopefully like last year making lots of children smile on xmas morning.”
The youngster will take on the bike ride with his dad Neil, 46, on December 3, and as well as raising money is also looking for donations of bikes, helmets and locks.
His Christmas effort last year involved Cody competing in eight non-contact boxing rounds against other children to raise money for a whole lot of new toys.
In just six weeks he managed to fill the boxing ring with more than 2,000 presents worth an estimated £12,000.
Last month Cody was honoured at Westminster with a British Citizen Youth Award medal in recognition of his work to help others.
He has also earned the Best Young Fundraiser award from the Institute of Fundraisers.
Proud mum Denise, 45, said her son was determined to raise as much money as he could with the new challenge.
She said: “He came home from school and had heard that some kids, when they do Bikeability, they might not have a bike and they would have to use a school bike.
“He said when you get to my age and you don’t have a bike it’s quite embarrassing in front of your friends having to borrow a school bike.
“He said I’m not going to do toys this year, I’m going to do bikes. He is so determined to do it and to raise as much money as he can.
“What we were going to do was contact some schools and just ask if there might be anybody in the school that might benefit from it.
“He’s a really kind-hearted, friendly wee boy. Everybody says he’s a boy with a big heart.”
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