A BIG-HEARTED boy, who is aiming to raise more than £1,000 by running three kilometres every day for a month, is now being sponsored by the author who inspired him to fundraise.

Max Johnson, who is eight-years-old and from Halstead, is aiming raise £1,200 for the homeless charity Hope House Essex, which is based in Braintree.

Max has pledged to run three kilometres a day for 30 days in order to reach the target.

After starting his first run last week, Max almost immediately smashed his original £800 target with donations to his justgiving page.

He says he was inspired to raise funds after reading The Night Bus Hero by Onjali Q Raùf.

The book highlights homelessness and Max pledged to do something to help homeless people in the area.

Max’s mum Samantha Johnson said: “Max read The Night Bus Hero and was really saddened by the realisation there are people who are homeless and the struggles they face.

“Max came to me once he finished the book and said ‘It was a really good book but it made me sad thinking about the homeless people. I really want to do something to help’.”

“We sat down and brainstormed ideas of how we could raise funds.

“Max wanted to do something that would be a really big challenge for him in the hope to raise as much money as he can, so we agreed that he would push himself and run 3km a day for 30 days.”

“We looked into homeless charities and came across Hope House Essex.”

After hearing about Max’s challenge, Onjali Q Raùf sponsored his efforts with a donation of £100 and is encouraging her social media followers to also pledge money.

In an Instagram post, Onjali said: “Every so often, a message from someone hitherto unknown, will blast a new ray of light from an unexpected part of the world.

“Thank you Samantha for messaging me about Max’s gargantuan, gorgeous efforts to raise as much money as he can for homeless charity Hope House Essex

“I’m utterly floored The Night Bus Hero played a small part in inspiring him to do so. Our little heroes are everywhere.”

To donate, visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/maxruns3kfor30days.