A tenner turned into a fortune

Ruben Gilchrist
Ruben Gilchrist

A caring schoolboy has been dubbed the UK’s most ‘inspiring’ youngster after winning two awards at this year’s National Tenner Competition.

Reuben Gilchrist (11), from Milton Campsie, raised more money than anyone else in the 5-11 age bracket for the whole of the country.

Earlier this year, he and his P7 school mates all took part in the National Tenner project which asks youngsters to take £10 and use it to raise as much money for charity as possible.

For Reuben, the competition gave him a chance to donate to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust in memory of his late uncle Ryan who died from the condition.

He used the capital to buy a pair of walking shoes and he, along with his mum and uncle Anthony, took a 12-mile sponsored stroll from his home to Strathblane.

And despite an original target of £100, Reuben was able to amass a staggering £1,581.20 in just one month.

Proud mum Naomi said: “Reuben and Ryan were very close; he talks about him all the time and still has a little teddy at the side of the bed called Ryan.

“Just last week was the five-year anniversary of Ryan’s final operation and Reuben was really quite upset about that and it was quite hard for him.

“On Sunday it will have been five years to the day when his uncle died, so we all know that will be a very difficult day for him, as well as the rest of the family.

“But we try to make it as positive as possible and avoid any doom and gloom.

Shortly after Ryan’s death, Reuben was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome — a form of autism which can place strain on his ability to interact with others.

She said: “It has meant the world to me to see him get through this challenge and he has taken such confidence from it.

Reuben’s P7 schoolmates at Craighead Primary also took part in the National Tenner project to raise £470 for Alzhiemer’s Research UK - after head teacher Fiona Leishman told them her husband had been diagnosed with early onset dementia.

Mrs Leishman said: “It was just such a lovely thing for the children to do; they are so understanding and compassionate — all the things you want from pupils. It has been a very emotional for me and my family and we were all absolutely blown away by the donation.”