Nine year-old boy from Northampton leads donation drive to bring chocolate to children's ward this Christmas

The Year 5 pupil has previously raised hundreds for intensive care by climbing up Mount Snowdon

Thursday, 25th November 2021, 10:21 am
The young lad has already collected over 100 boxes with more yet to come

A nine year-old boy from Northampton is helping to donate more than 100 chocolate selection boxes to the children's ward at Northampton General Hospital, with hopes of making that number much higher.

Oliver Smart, a Year 5 pupil from Queen Eleanor Primary Academy in Northampton, had the idea after he realised the number of children that would have to spend Christmas in hospital.

Oliver said: "I just thought it would be nice because people might miss their Christmas and they might not be able to go home to see their families.

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Kayleigh and Oliver at the peak of Mount Snowdon

"At least with these chocolates they can now have a nice treat.

"We're hopefully trying to get everyone their own box, so they can have a very nice Christmas."

Even at nine, this is not Oliver's first foray into charity. In fact he climbed Mount Snowdon with his Mum, Kayleigh, back in June. There he raised as much as £250 for Northampton General Hospital's Intensive Care unit as thanks for taking care of his Nan after she had a fall.

Now the mini Saint Nick has returned to spread some chocolate cheer, just in time for Christmas.

Oliver and Kayleigh have so far bought around 70 selection boxes themselves. Around 30 more have been donated through Santa's little helpers Northamptonshire, a Facebook group that gives donated gifts to disadvantaged children and their families.

Kayleigh said that it was hard to refuse such a simple and kind idea. After receiving support from both the Facebook group, as well as Oliver's school, the drive to get even more boxes to the hospital was strong.

She said: "We've kind of been spurred on even more to do it.

"We were only going to do it locally, but then when we went into the hospital the other week where we decided we should just go for it.

"These are local children that are unwell. I just think if it brings a little bit of happiness at what for them must be a not very nice time, especially over Christmas, then it's worth it.

"There will be children coming in at all times in the build-up to Christmas.

"If we can all spend that little 50 pence or one pound that selection boxes cost on offer, it can be a better Christmas for everyone, even those in hospital."

Oliver's mum is not the only one inspired by his good example. The message has reached as high as his own school's headteacher.

Isaac Howarth, who leads Queen Eleanor Primary Academy, sent the appeal to every parent and pupil at the school and praised the young advocate's idea.

He said: "It reflects our school's ethos and we're really impressed that he took the initiative on his own and we're really impressed that he was thinking of other people and trying to do something kind for other families."

Those who wish to donate can do so through Santa's little helpers Northamptonshire.