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News story

Literacy fundraising star Milan, aged nine, takes on his biggest challenge yet!

09 Aug 2021

Milan Blackpool cycling on Promenade

Nine-year-old Milan Kumar is passionate about reading and writing. In the past 18 months he has raised more than £4,500 for the National Literacy Trust taking on various challenges and projects to support children whose literacy and learning have been most affected by COVID-19.

The young fundraising star from Bolton is taking part in five days of challenges across the country, raising money to get books into the hands of children who need them most.

Revealing his location each day on social media, Milan will be hiking, cycling, skiing and go-karting in various towns and cities around the country. He'll be hopping around the country from Wiltshire to the Lake District, and Cardiff to Birmingham!

On Thursday, he will celebrate the work of our Literacy Hubs: heading to Blackpool to meet Steph Wood, Manager of Get Blackpool Reading - our literacy campaign in the town. After meeting Steph at a fun family event with Blackpool Libraries and Blackpool Adult, Community and Family Learning at Louie Horrocks Park, he will then jump on his bike to cycle the Golden Mile via some of his favourite Blackpool spots including Blackpool Football Club and Central Library.

Families can follow Milan’s challenges on the National Literacy Trust Twitter page and can sponsor him online:

"During lockdown I felt miserable and unsettled because I couldn’t see my family and friends. This is when I discovered my love for reading and keeping physically active. Reading and exercise helped me to relax and feel better - I want everyone to feel better too."

Milan Kumar

Milan's fundraising story so far ...

During the first lockdown in 2020, Milan read an incredible 50 books and his achievements were recognised as “absolutely wonderful” in a special letter from the National Literacy Trust’s Patron, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall.

When we launched our summer fundraising challenge called #FitforLit, Milan combined his two favourite hobbies into one stellar challenge for himself. Over 10 days, Milan cycled 50 laps a day – one lap for every book he read during lockdown – around the University of Bolton Stadium raising over £2,000 for us!

Milan then went onto become a Premier League Reading Stars Ambassador for Bolton Wanderers Football Club, as part of the programme we run in partnership with the Premier League which inspires children to get into reading through their love of sport. As an ambassador, Milan has been reading and reviewing many books on his social media throughout the autumn to inspire others.

In the lead up to Christmas 2020, Milan wrote and published a new children’s book on Amazon called Covid Christmas Parade all about a young boy who is determined to bring back his town’s Christmas cheer in light of the pandemic and is donating all proceeds to the National Literacy Trust.

What’s more, he also wrote to Amazon to explain all of his wonderful fundraising efforts and the reason why he published this book and Amazon were so impressed with his hard work, they donated £1000 to the National Literacy Trust in Milan’s name.

In spring 2021, Milan took up our Where’s Wally? Weekender challenge, walking an amazing 10km dressed as Where's Wally?

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