THE family, friends and former teachers of Devauden schoolboy Tom Walker raised more than £28,000 for Cancer Research Wales when they tackled a night hike in the Brecon Beacons.

A total of 250 people followed in Tom's footsteps to scale Pen y Fan, one of Wales’ highest peaks, on the night of Friday, March 22.

Tom was the youngest of 90 people who defied cold and wet conditions to tackle the first Brecon Beacons Night Hike last year.

This year's hike retraced the steps of the young Monmouth School for Boys’ pupil who died last June, aged 13, from leukaemia.

The money raised from the hike will go towards funding a three-year £100,000 PhD research project, set up by Tom’s family with support from Cancer Research Wales, into acute myeloid leukaemia.

The event organiser, Cancer Research Wales' Dale Evans, said: “Well done to everyone who took part in this very special and poignant occasion.

“The skies over Brecon had the company of an extra 250 stars who came out to remember a wonderful boy whose life shone so brightly and inspired all. Let’s keep the light shining.”

At Pen y Fan, Tom’s youngest sister, Emily, a pupil at Monmouth School Girls’ Prep, gave a moving speech to her fellow hikers.

The night hike was the latest event in a series of tireless fundraisers by all those who knew Tom.

Earlier this year, more than 650 people took part in a 12-hour swimathon, called Swim for Tom, which raised £20,359.76. Tom’s oldest sister, Holly, a pupil at Monmouth School for Girls, was heavily involved in organising the swimathon and designed the event logo.

Tom was a keen swimmer and had also been learning to row on the River Wye.

In December 2018, his family christened a new rowing boat, called The Otter, in memory of Tom at Monmouth School for Boys’ Rowing Club. The Otter was bought with funds raised by his friends who rowed Loch Ness in Scotland and with money from Tom’s estate.

The overall tally also includes money raised by Emily, who sang in Cwmbran town centre before Christmas (£229.23), and a Christmas charity car park run by pupils (£585).