Hartlepool youngster Leo is a games master with 24-hour marathon in memory of brother Benji

A caring Hartlepool youngster is planning to undertake a 24 hour computer games marathon to raise money in memory of his brother.

Saturday, 22nd January 2022, 4:45 am

Ten-year-old Leo Picken will pick up his games controller and play non-stop for a full day during February’s school half term.

He is doing it to remember his beloved big brother Benji Cathcpole who tragically and unexpectedly took his own life in a wooded area near Clavering in May 2020.

Despite almost a month still to go before, Leo has already raised £1,000 for two charities close to the family’s heart.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Hartlepool gamer Leo Picken prepares to complete a 24-hour gamathon in memory of late brother Benji.

Everything he collects will be split between mental health charity Minds For Men, and Alice House Hospice which has helped Leo with bereavement counselling.

Mum Cheryl Picken said: “It was his idea to do it in memory of Benji. He will basically be doing it from when he wakes up until the day after.”

Leo, who goes to St Aidan’s Primary School, has his own computer room at home with a PC, PlayStation and Nintendo Switch consoles and Oculus Quest virtual reality headset.

Despite the length of the challenge when Leo will hit pause only for meal and bathroom breaks, Cheryl is confident he will complete it.

Benjamin Catchpole.

She added: “He will be in his element. He loves to stay on his computer all night.

"I think he will do more than 24 hours."

She said the Oculus Quest is Leo’s favourite as he gets to chat and play with other gamers all over the world.

"When he gets sick of one, he just goes on the other,” said Cheryl.

He has already exceeded their fundraising expectations with donations pouring in just from Cheryl sharing it on social media.

She added: “I think it’s brilliant. I was only expecting him to get a few pounds.”

They are hoping to raise even more when they get some paper sponsor forms printed.

As well as being a much-loved son, brother, grandson, nephew, and cousin, Benji was a highly valued member of Manor Community Academy and Hartlepool’s army cadets.

At his funeral he was remembered as someone who made friends easily, made everyone laugh with his jokes, and liked nothing better than being out with his mates or working out at the gym.

Read More

Read More
Shocked Hartlepool mum receives £336,865 a month energy bill estimate

Support your Mail and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news, the latest on Pools and new puzzles every day. With a digital subscription, you can see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.

The Hartlepool Mail has been in town since 1877, and your support means we can continue telling your stories for generations to come. Click here to subscribe.