A 10-YEAR-OLD East Lancashire boy is set to kayak 13km across Lake Windermere, inspired by the story of a Victorian orphan and the charity that helped him.

Caelan Blades, from Oswaldtwistle, is no novice where such feats are concerned. He completed the national 5 Peaks Challenge when he was just five years old, but the kayak will be his greatest mission yet.

This will mark the 130th anniversary of Child Action Northwest (CANW), then known as Blackburn Orphanage, which took in its first orphan child, 13-year-old Adolphus Curran and his eight-year-old brother Arthur on August 5 1891.

Caelan said: “I love helping other children who might not be as lucky as me.

“I can’t believe that CANW is 130 years old, that means they have helped a lot of children, many through two World Wars.

“I think it’s important that people fundraise for them, so they can keep supporting kids, especially because of the coronavirus pandemic - that’s why I am doing the 13km Kayak challenge on Lake Windermere.”

Caelan’s efforts will make up part of the charity’s 130th anniversary campaign, which will see 130 local businesses, organisations or individuals aim to raise over £130,000 by July 23 2021.

CANW has launched the campaign in order to continue offering a safe place for children who may be affected by poverty, neglect or lack of opportunity but, like many charities, fundraising has been seriously impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

CANW CEO Sue Cotton said: “I am so impressed with Caelan, he’s only 10 years old and has already completed the national five peaks challenge to raise funds for us and now he’s told us that he will do a 13km kayak across Lake Windermere, so we’re able to help children his age, get the support they need.”

She added: “Caelan is just an inspiration and represents the same values that we have as a charity; To never give up, to show we care, and to empower children and young people to achieve their full potential.”

The date of Caelan’s challenge is yet to be announced.