Sweet-toothed Harry went chocolate-free

Harry Shingler. Picture by James Willoughby
Harry Shingler. Picture by James Willoughby

A chocolate-obsessed seven-year-old gave up his favourite treats for a month to raise money for a military charity.

He might have a sweet tooth, but Harry Shingler decided to quit chocolate for 30 days, in aid of Scotty’s Little Soldiers.

The charity supports children and young people who have lost a parent while serving in the British Armed Forces.

The Longhoughton youngster’s good deed was particularly poignant as his father Luke is a Corporal at RAF Boulmer and has served overseas in Afghanistan and the Middle East.

Harry’s self-imposed ban came to an end on Saturday, so guess how he celebrated – by devouring a well-deserved chocolate-laden breakfast!

The Longhoughton C of E Primary School pupil has so far managed to raise £220 for the cause and his parents are proud of his efforts.

Mum Katie said: “This was a big deal for Harry, because he is only seven and he absolutely loves chocolate!

“Giving it up for 30 days had nothing to do with Lent and it was his own decision, following a healthy-eating campaign run by his school over the half-term.

“He came home from school one day and decided he wanted to give up chocolate for a month and said that he wanted to raise money for the charity that helps children whose mummies or daddies have been hurt or killed in war.

“He asked that, if he did it, would we give £20 to charity for him and asked if I would share it on Facebook. We did that and set up a JustGiving page and he has currently raised £220.

“He is over the moon with that and we are very proud of him for not only doing it, but for thinking all by himself that he wanted to do something to help other people.

“It means a lot to his dad too, because the charity is close to his heart, having served abroad for the Armed Forces. He is chuffed to bits at what Harry has done.”

It wasn’t all plain sailing, as Harry did have one or two cravings during his chocolate-free challenge, but the determined youngster stayed strong and managed to resist temptation for the whole month.

Katie said: “He was as good as gold. About halfway through, he asked how much longer he had to go before he could have some chocolate, but he stuck at it and saw it through to the end.

“When he had reached the 30 days, he marked the end of the challenge by having chocolate for breakfast – Nutella on toast with Maltesers Bunnies.”

There is still time to sponsor Harry, who has a twin sister Isla and a younger brother Charlie. To make a donation, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/katie-shingler

For information about the charity, visit scottyslittlesoldiers.co.uk