An autistic schoolboy has smashed his £999 fundraising target for The Fire Fighters Charity after embarking on an epic challenge.
Andrew Impey, 10, vowed to visit all 2,500 fire stations in the UK and Ireland and has already ticked off 650 of them.
He first set his target at £100 for attempting this mammoth quest but this quickly went up to £250 and then £500. However, after this he set a goal of £999 because of the number's special relevance to the fire service and has now put the figure at £1943 – the year the charity was founded.
Andrew said: “I am so chuffed I am helping firefighters. As well as money I want to raise awareness of what the fire service does as well as put out fires and save lives.
"I love everything about the fire service – my favourite bit is when they let me get in the fire engine.”
He has also transformed his room into a station with the kit, equipment and trinkets he has been given by firefighters, and that his parents have bought at emergency services shows.
The Cosham schoolboy – who is known as Andrew Dane on social media – has documented his travels on Twitter, Facebook and his website. His mum Kirstine, who works in a care home, said: “I am over the moon. When he first started I thought a couple of hundred pounds would be a good achievement so I am thrilled he has got so much support.
“Andrew doesn’t really understand money but he understands the numbers are getting longer.”
He has recently been nominated for awards for his charity efforts.
Assistant chief officer Andy Bowers, who is also champion for The Fire Fighters Charity, said: "This is an amazing achievement and the money will be going to a good cause that is close to every firefighter's heart. Andrew's determination to raise money and visit every fire station is incredible, and he is very much an honorary member of our Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service family."
Andrew is currently planning a cycling fundraiser for the charity and asking for donation on his JustGiving page.