AN INSPIRATIONAL Silsden youngster, who underwent life-changing surgery five years ago, has raised cash for Manorlands hospice as a thank-you to the community for its support.

Evan Whitton, now 11, who was born with cerebral palsy, received massive public backing to help send him to St Louis Children's Hospital in America for the operation.

The following year Evan, who had previously been confined to a wheelchair, was able to walk to school for the first time.

He has just handed over a £1,313 cheque to Manorlands, the Oxenhope Sue Ryder hospice, after staging a 24-hour sponsored 'stay awake'.

During the challenge, he kept an hourly online video blog to update supporters with his progress and to boost donations to a fundraising web page.

He attended a party, watched films and ate to help stay awake!

"The challenge was quite hard but I managed to get through with the help and support of lots of people," said Evan, who also generated funds through a sponsorship form at South Craven School in Cross Hills.

"As I saw the funds growing online, it spurred me on to keep going and support this great cause."

Manorlands fundraiser, Andrew Wood, paid tribute to Evan – and his family – for their efforts.

"Evan was inspired to help the hospice after local fundraising five years ago enabled him to travel to the USA for the operation to help him walk," added Mr Wood.

"He wanted to repay the community for its kindness by giving something back.

"Having known people who have been at Manorlands, he decided to fundraise so more people can receive incredible care, as and when they need it.

"Evan is an inspirational young man and the money he has raised will help local people living with serious illnesses.

"I'd like to thank him on behalf of everyone at Manorlands."

Evan was chosen to represent Yorkshire at a Paralympic flame ceremony in London in 2012.

And that same year he received the Youngster of the Year crown in the 21st Yorkshire Young Achievers Awards.

Manorlands provides care – at the hospice and in the community – for people living with incurable illnesses.

All services are free to patients and their loved ones, but it costs £8,000 a day to keep the hospice doors open.

Only a small part of the cost is covered by statutory funds.

Call 01535 640430 for more details about how you can support the hospice.