A Curdworth school pupil has been busy as a bee this summer – by walking more than a hundred miles to raise cash to protect her favourite insects.
There was a real buzz around the North Warwickshire village over the summer holidays, thanks to seven-year-old Sophie Wakeman’s daily sponsored walks – which she did in a colourful bee costume.
Sophie explained: “I love bugs because they are very beautiful and important but most people don’t like them. Because people don’t like them, but I do, I thought I could raise some money to help a species of insect. Bees are really important and adorable, so I picked bees.
“I feel really happy that people have helped me raise money for the bees. Thank you so much to everyone who has donated.”
The final day of Sophie’s challenge was August 31 and so far she has raised £483, after walking an incredible 305,087 steps – that’s 127.2 miles in six weeks!
Proud mum Kerry explained: “Sophie decided she would walk 5000 steps every single day during the summer holidays to raise as much money as she could for The British Beekeepers Association. She believes it is so important for bees to be protected for the sake of our countryside.
“Sophie has always had a love for insects. Our garden has bug houses and solitary bee hives, as well as being planted with lots of pollinators, at Sophie’s request.
“During lockdown she said she wanted to raise money for a good cause and suggested an insect charity. The bee costume was her idea, as it would give her a theme and help people know what she was doing it for!”
After setting up a JustGiving page family, friends and neighbours made a bee-line to the site and soon began donating money, after being inspired by Sophie’s efforts.
Her daily walks were even more remarkable given that, from the age of two and a half up until she was 5 years old, Sophie suffered with shortened Achilles tendons and tightened calves in both legs – which resulted in her having to wear orthotic boots every day. The condition made her unsteady on her feet and meant she found it painful to walk even short distances.
“We are immensely proud of her given that she would not have been able to walk this much just a few years ago,” Kerry said.
“Sophie is a very caring, empathetic and sensitive girl. She has wanted to save the world almost as soon as she could talk. She’s got bags of energy and a wickedly slapstick sense of humour but above all it’s her capacity for caring about others that makes us most proud. She always puts others first and helps people wherever she can.”
Sophie is about to start Year 3 at Curdworth Primary School, which is part of the respected Arthur Terry Learning Partnership.
Headteacher Lisa Dodd said: “Sophie is a wonderful member of Curdworth Primary School and we are very proud of her commitment to fundraising. It has been lovely to follow her journey on twitter.”
Anne Rowberry, chair of the British Beekeepers Association, said: “Well done Sophie! Here at the BBKA we are delighted to receive a donation of £483 to help the bees.
“Bees are known to work very hard and I think Sophie has shown her commitment to them through her impressive effort. I know Sophie has always had a love of insects – it is a fascinating world to study.
“We are so pleased to have a budding young entomologist to support our bees.”
If you would like to donate to Sophie’s appeal, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kerry-wakeman?fbclid=IwAR1h2yTg-VfQSUxLt7Gx0KrtMxndriRk2yDposM1u-7DtH6O2hrQtCglvjw
The Bee’s Knees: Sophie Wakeman walked 127 miles over the summer holidays to raise cash for her favourite insects.