Fundraising boy stars in documentary film

A 12-year-old boy, who has been fundraising since the age of four, is to star in a documentary film about the work of international charity Mary’s Meals.

Charlie Doherty from Bewbush, will appear in film, Child 31, after raising £20,000 for the charity by getting involved in many challenges including a 330-mile bike ride from Brighton to Scotland.

The boy, who has not accepted birthday gifts for the last seven years preferring people to donate to worthy causes, addressed a crowd of more than 1,500 people when he did a speech at the film launch in Scotland, where he met former prime minister Gordon Brown.

The film, which Charlie is in talks with Cineworld to have played on the big screen in Crawley, documents the work of Mary’s Meals which provides free school meals to children in the world’s most impoverished regions.

It features stories which show the difference one meal every day can make to children living in extreme poverty.

Charlie said: “The film was sad but at the same time gives hope for what can be done.
“It brings a lot of depth to what happens in some of the world’s poorest countries and the simplicity of the work that is done by Mary’s Meals which is helping to change the lives of so many children.”

The film will be shown in 300 locations around the world on six continents.

It has already won Best Documentary and Best Soundtrack at the Pan Pacific Film Festival in California and has beenscreened at the likes of a movie theatre in New York and the prestigious Warsaw Film Festival.
 And Charlie could soon be mixing with the stars as the film is being put forward for the Oscars.

Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, chief executive of Mary’s Meals, said: “We hope Child 31 will bring the message of Mary’s Meals to new eyes, new ears and new hearts. It is my hope that Child 31 – this moving, inspiring and uplifting film - will act as another seed which will soon bear an abundance of fruit.”

To view the film trailer and for more information on the film, visit