A NINE-year-old boy with autism and ADHD has raised £240 for a Poole hospice charity by competing in the recent Run Bournemouth event in memory of his grandad.

Charlie Witherington from Poole took part in the Junior 2K to honour his beloved grandad who died at Forest Holme Hospice in August.

“Anybody who knows Charlie knows he loves his running,” his mum Samantha said. “Charlie’s autism means he has limited interests, but the things he does like, he really focuses on – like running.”

“He loves watching videos of Usain Bolt and hopes to be faster than him when he’s older. Charlie loves running around his school field and uses this as a release as it helps him to stay calm.”

Charlie’s grandad was diagnosed with cancer in December 2019 and was told it was terminal in September 2020. He spent his final three weeks in Forest Holme where Samantha said he had “incredible care”.

Bournemouth Echo: Charlie Witherington honoured his grandad with photos on his running shirtCharlie Witherington honoured his grandad with photos on his running shirt

Samantha added: “Forest Holme is one of those amazing charities which you only get to know about if, unfortunately, you have a loved one go there.

“Charlie never went to Forest Holme but would send grandad funny videos while he was there so he could hear his voice.”

Charlie ran alongside his Uncle Richard to prepare for his 2K, also taking part in park runs on a Saturday ahead of the Run Bournemouth event.

Samantha said: “Charlie was very nervous about doing the run. He doesn’t like noise or crowds and was worried about falling over. But he was so determined to do this for his beloved grandad.

“It was such a massive achievement for Charlie as he has limited danger awareness. The whole family were rooting for him and were standing at different points on the route to make sure he was safe and to cheer him on.

“We’re so proud of Charlie for keeping his grandad's memory alive and this will be something he will want to do each year.”

Visit justgiving.com/fundraising/sam-witherington for more information.