Million-pound fundraiser, six, receives Pride Of Britain award from Ant and Dec

Alistair Mason, PA
·2-min read

A six-year-old boy with two prosthetic legs who raised more than £1 million in a walking challenge has been surprised with an award by Ant and Dec.

Tony Hudgell, from West Malling in Kent, had to have both his legs amputated in 2017 as a result of abuse suffered at the hands of his birth parents.

After receiving his first prosthetics earlier this year, he attempted to raise £500 for Evelina London Children’s Hospital by walking 10km in the month of June – but after his campaign caught the public’s imagination, he raised more than £1.2 million.

His efforts have now been recognised with a Pride Of Britain award, as he was given the Good Morning Britain Young Fundraiser prize.

He was given the award by TV stars Ant and Dec, who dressed up as toy soldiers to surprise him during a trip to Hamleys toy shop.

As the TV stars revealed their true identities, Tony said: “That surprised me.”

Tony was inspired in his fundraising efforts after seeing Captain Sir Tom Moore undertake his own walking challenge using a walking frame.

Tony said: “I saw him walk with his thing and I said ‘I can do that’. And I did do it.”

Tony decided to raise money for Evelina because he received life-saving treatment there for the injuries he suffered as a young baby.

He was 41 days old when he was assaulted by his birth parents, an attack which caused multiple fractures, dislocations and blunt trauma to the face, leading to organ failure, toxic shock and sepsis.

Tony Hudgell fundraising walk
Tony walked 10km in June, having only got his first prosthetics earlier this year (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Meanwhile, footballer and campaigner Marcus Rashford was on hand to give a Pride of Britain award to 11-year-old Emmie Narayn-Nicholas, who founded a charity to help feed the families of children who are in hospital.

Emmie, who spent 100 nights in Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital (RMCH) over six months after being diagnosed with leukaemia in 2017, opened Emmie’s Kitchen in 2018.

Once a month the charity makes a free three-course meal for up to 200 people at Ronald McDonald House next to the hospital.

During lockdown, Emmie fed 440 people over 10 weeks, as well as giving out snack bags and baskets of toiletries to families of children at RMCH.

Viewers can watch the Pride Of Britain awards being handed out at 9pm on Sunday on ITV.