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Schoolboy’s sea plunge to feed young people at Christmas

Cooper, 10, will be joined by his dad Ryan, his older brother Jack and some of his friends for ‘Coop’s Run and Splash’ a 10K sponsored jog along Southbourne seafront, followed by an invigorating dip in the waves, on Saturday December 11.

Cooper, who attends Park School, said: “I came up with the idea for this event to raise money for the charity BCHA, to help them fund Christmas lunches for young people they support who could become homeless.

“I love Christmas and I want to raise money to help others have the happiness and fun that we have.”

Cooper and his team set themselves the fundraising target of £1000. But their total has already passed £1200.

He continued: “The money we raise is going to provide a Christmas lunch on December 17 at all the supported housing properties BCHA’s runs for young people.

“One of those is Robert Gabriel House in Poole, and my dad and I are hoping to visit there that day.”

Cooper will dress as Santa for Coop’s Run and Splash and his dad and friends will be his ‘elves’.

Cooper’s dad Ryan Baccus said: “Cooper has a giant heart and has always been passionate about wanting to help those who are less fortunate than himself.

“Since he was very young, he has consistently humbled me - and raided my pockets - whenever we have met someone in need.

“He has been desperate to do something more significant to help for a while. We are all very proud of him and his friends.”

Charitable housing association BCHA, based in Bournemouth, helps over 10,000 people off the streets, out of abuse, over skills barriers and onto independence and work each year.

BCHA chief executive Martin Hancock, said: “We are extremely impressed by Cooper’s commitment to the community and for his concern for people experiencing homelessness.

“As some approach Christmas with excitement at the prospect of gifts, food and time with loved ones, there are young people across communities that face isolation and homelessness, many of whom BCHA support. Cooper and his friends will be actively helping us to provide some of these young people with food and small gifts.

Donations can be made to Coop’s Run and Splash at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/cooprunandsplash

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