Thousands donated to charities after run for much-loved Benny

With the cheque for the planned charity Benny's Battalion were,   

With the cheque for the planned charity Benny's Battalion were, from left, Martin Watts, Kev and Julie Pitcher, Ben Letzer and Duncan Baker. - Credit: Supplied by Kev Pitcher

Two charities have each been given a £7,000 boost thanks to a charity marathon run and other fundraisers held in memory of a much-loved boy.

Kevin and Julie Pitcher, from East Runton, have given East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) and Cromer Children's Charity the donations to help the charities support others in the same way they supported their family.

Benny Pitcher. 

Benny Pitcher.  - Credit: Supplied by the family

Mr Pitcher said: "It feels like we've now kept our promise. We've finally achieved what we set out to do. There will be a lot of families with children who will benefit from this."

Benny died aged six on July 12 last year after a battle with a rare form of brain cancer.

During his treatment, people from across north Norfolk and beyond came together to support the Pitcher family. 

Julie and Kev Pitcher, parents of Benny, with a donation for £7,000 to Cromer Children's Charity

Julie and Kev Pitcher, parents of Benny, with a donation for £7,000 to Cromer Children's Charity, which was accepted by Philip Balls (centre). - Credit: Supplied by Kev Pitcher

Mr Pitcher said they now wanted to go on "giving back" and helping others in the same way.

"People stepped in to help our family and now we want to be there for others. This is our way of paying it back," he said.

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Benny, who was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma in March 2019, became known for his cheeky smile and 'superhero' courage.

Runners taking part in Benny's Poppyline Marathon, held in memory of Benny Pitcher. 

Runners who took part in Benny's Poppyline Marathon, held in memory of Benny Pitcher.  - Credit: Supplied by Duncan Baker

He was a pupil at Sheringham Primary School and loved his family, friends and kitten Tilly.

Much of the money was raised around a marathon Mr Pitcher and others ran in north Norfolk on August 8, and further funds came from charity boxes in shops and other donations.

As well as the funds handed over to the two causes, the Pitchers are putting the sum of £4,562 towards a new charity they are planning to launch early next year. 

Benny with his beloved kitten Tilly.Photo: contributed

Benny with his beloved kitten Tilly.  - Credit: Archant

To be called Benny's Battalion, the aim will be to help other families with terminally and seriously ill children to pay for things when they have nowhere else to turn.

Mr Pitcher said this could include paying for a family's transportation or accommodation near a hospital so they could be close to a child undergoing treatment, for example. 

Julie and Kev Pitcher,

Julie and Kev Pitcher, parents of Benny, with a donation for £7,000 to East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH), which was accepted by Tim Jenkins. - Credit: Supplied by Kev Pitcher

At a presentation ceremony on October 31 - what would have been Benny's eighth birthday - Tim Jenkins accepted one of the £7,000 donations on behalf of EACH, and Philip Balls accepted the donation to Cromer Children's Charity. 

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