A school boy from Shortlands has raised £2,000 for Bromley Borough Foodbank by inviting friends and family to sponsor his achievements on an online maths game.

Eight-year-old Ray Rosen-Rawlings set himself a challenge to double his score on Times Tables Rock Stars in the six weeks leading up to Christmas.

It meant him dedicating at least half an hour a day to hit his target.

Times Tables Rock Stars is a popular educational tool that motivates children to improve the speed and accuracy of their times tables.

Correct answers are rewarded with virtual coins and classmates compete against each other to reach the highest score.

Despite being the youngest child in his class, Ray’s aptitude for maths enabled him to top his school’s leaderboard, earning himself 500,000 virtual coins over two years.

When he discovered in November that another child had earned a million coins, Ray set himself a target to match this score by Christmas.

With just 47 days before the deadline, he had to sacrifice precious TV time in order to answer an average of 185 questions correctly within 3-minute quick fire rounds.

Ray first learnt about foodbanks at Cub Scouts and his family regularly donated food during the lockdown.

On a day out in the summer, he showed his willingness to help those less fortunate.

Ray said: “I went to an arcade with grandpa and won some coins which I then gave to a homeless person.

“I want to help people and food is the one thing you need to survive.”

When Ray set himself the challenge, mum Emily suggested he do it in support of Bromley Borough Foodbank, which has centres across the borough and is part of the Trussell Trust network.

She helped him set up an online sponsorship page, enabling Ray’s friends, family and teachers to donate to the cause.

His original target was £500 and the current total is £1,741.

Ray’s family have committed to rounding this up to £2,000.

When he heard about the fundraising, the founder and CEO of Times Tables Rock Stars, Bruno Reddy, recorded a personalised video message for Ray, describing him as an inspiration to others.

Ray’s grandad, Simon Moorhead, also wanted to do his bit to help.

As the producer of the fantasy film, Mirrormask from 2005, he had a collection of memorabilia from the film, including artwork by the director and artist, Dave McKean.

He sold it in an auction and raised £800 for Ray's fund.

Mum Emily said: “Ray does not expect a reward for doing this.

"That’s not what incentivises him.

"He’s just always had an awareness of those less privileged than him and wants to be able to help them in his own way."

Amanda Stone, project manager for Bromley Borough Foodbank, was delighted to hear about Ray’s efforts.

She explained: “It is remarkable that someone of his age has raised such a significant sum for those reliant on the foodbank this Christmas.

"Our hampers provide individuals and families with some much needed cheer at what is a financially challenging time of year for so many.

“The generosity of people like Ray enables us to supply Christmas meals and treats and more importantly, show that we are a community that cares about the wellbeing of others.”

For information on how to support or to get help from the foodbank, visit bromleyborough.foodbank.org.uk.

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