Forces Charities

Can You Keep Up With This 10-Year-Old Fundraiser?

An enormous challenge to do 7.1 million keepie-uppies for key worker charities

There are 7.1 million key workers across the UK, and so Imogen Heidel set a challenge to do a keepie-uppie for each and every one of them - be they nurses, firefighters, teachers, doctors or members of the Armed Forces.

The 10-year-old girl from Cambridge was inspired by the heroic efforts of war veteran Captain Tom, who earlier this year raised £32 million for the NHS, and she wanted to take on her own mammoth challenge. 

Imogen, however, wanted to use her football skills to raise money instead of walking steps, with keepie-uppies - the art of keeping a ball off the ground by bouncing it repeatedly on a foot, knee, or head. She said:

“I wanted to do something for all of the key workers in the country.”

Every day, after a morning of home-schooling, Imogen spends about  four hours doing keepie-uppies to add to her ever growing total. And everyday, people from around the world are helping by taking part and adding to her total.

With Imogen’s incredible efforts, the donations of keepie-uppies from both the UK and abroad currently stands at more than 3.7 million. Imogen has also been nominated for a Pride of Britain Award following her ongoing achievements for the key workers of the UK. 

Imogen Heidel 7million Keepie Uppie Challenge. Credit Heidel Family

Imogen's original fundraising target was £1,300, however, this was easily met.

The total amount raised now stands at £7,939.

The challenge is being used to raise money for nine charities that support key workers, including SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity.

Speaking to BFBS about her reasons for choosing the charity, Imogen said:

“They (the Armed Forces) were all working really hard and doing such an incredible job, and that’s why I wanted to do something for SSAFA to thank them.” 

Imogen's challenge has also turned into a Guinness World Record attempt.

Anyone can help Imogen with her challenge by either donating money or by adding to her global keepie-uppie count. 

Imogen said: “We’ve had quite a few people getting involved, we’ve had more than 2,000 people across the country and all over the world sending me keepie-uppies.

"We’ve had fantastic support from the Armed Forces. I’ve had a lovely message from WO1 Glenn Haughton.”

On BFBS Radio's Big Show Imogen was named as a 'Lockdown Legend', she joined presenters Amy Casey and Jay James on Instagram live for an interview which you can watch below:

How many keepie-uppies can you do in one go?

To join in with Imogen's fundraising and Guinness World Record efforts, go to her Twitter page at @imogen_ph or by searching 'seven million keepie uppie challenge' on JustGiving.