SHOWING yourself up in public to raise money is what Comic Relief is all about.
So 12-year-old Lewis Hayes made sure he wouldn’t be missed – by dressing up in a tutu and red nose for a run along Southsea seafront.
The youngster will be out on Saturday to raise money for the charity – despite suffering from health problems which make a simple jog no laughing matter.
Lewis has hypermobility syndrome, severe asthma and frequently gets painful migraines, but that hasn’t stopped him trying to run three miles to help those less fortunate.
And far from being embarrassed, the energetic youngster said he is happy to look silly in aid of such a good cause.
‘It doesn’t bother me at all,’ he said. ‘When they heard what I’m doing lots of people at school wanted to do something as well.
‘More people should put on stupid clothes for charity.
‘Everybody I know has been really supportive and that just makes me want to do it more.’
The Miltoncross School pupil said far from being teased, his fellow pupils and teachers are right behind him – with many offering to sponsor him in his challenge.
Lewis will also be joined on Saturday by three of his Year 7 friends, Max Paddon, Rhys Smith and George Saunders.
He has already raised £50 from going door-to-door in his road to collect sponsorship, and will carry a bucket on his run.
He said: ‘I’ve raised money before for Children in Need and to help people with leprosy, it’s something I feel like I have to do.
‘Running for more than a few minutes gets pretty painful, but I think about all the people who are supporting me and I feel better.
‘Compared to what some people go through, my life is pretty easy really.’
Lewis’s mum Lorraine, of Jenkins Grove, Copnor, said she is incredibly proud of all the things her son has accomplished.
‘Not only does Lewis do all these things for charity but he always takes care of his younger brother who struggles with bad epilepsy,’ she said. ‘I am so proud of him for doing so much even though he has problems of his own, he really makes my life easier as well. He is really an inspiration.’
Lewis and his friends will set off on their run at about 1.30pm on Saturday, and will jog along the seafront starting at Clarence Pier, in Southsea.