'Pride and admiration' for pupil, 10, who donated raffle prize tablet to children's ward at Northampton General Hospital

Caleb's mother and headteacher speak of their pride after the selfless Year Five pupil chose to give away his brand new tablet to children receiving cancer treatment

Monday, 20th December 2021, 1:04 pm
Updated Monday, 20th December 2021, 1:06 pm

A Year Five pupil has received floods of praise for his generosity after donating his brand new tablet to the children's ward at Northampton General Hospital.

Caleb Johnson, 10, took part in a raffle hosted by Blisworth Community Primary School on Tuesday, December 14.

The raffle was initially going to take place on the school's playground but, due to risks surrounding Covid, it had to be broadcast live on Facebook instead.

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Caleb Johnson, 10.

Caleb and his mum, Emma Johnson, did not watch the raffle live but later tuned in to find out that Caleb had won second prize - a brand new tablet.

Emma said: "At first, he was over the moon but then he said we have got loads of devices and I don't think we need another one in the house and I said that's a very grown up thing to say.

"He said you know we always talked about people who aren't as lucky as us? I would like to do something for them."

It was then when Caleb made the heartwarming decision to donate his tablet to the Disney Ward at Northampton General Hospital, where they have a Macmillan room for children receiving chemotherapy for cancer.

Emma continued: "I was a bit taken aback at first but then I was really proud of him. I was a bit tearful actually. I thought that is what we want. That is what I want to encourage in him. His first thought was 'I've got devices and there are children who have not. Let's give it to someone who actually needs it."

Emma rang Caleb's school to ask them if it would be okay to donate the tablet. She described their initial reaction as surprised by such a 'generous and nice' act, seeing as it was second prize and it was a very big prize to win.

When Caleb was asked why he chose to give his tablet away, he said that he did not need it and he wanted to help other people who did.

The Disney Ward at Northampton General Hospital is the designated Paediatric Oncology ward - it provides shared care for children and young people with cancer across Northampton, South Northamptonshire, Daventry and Wellingborough.

The services they provide include chemotherapy, palliative and terminal care, bereavement support, inpatient supportive care and psychosocial support for patients and their families.

Emma, talking about the choice to donate the tablet to the Disney Ward, said: "Children have to sit there for hours on end to get their treatment so I thought it was a good thing to keep them entertained with.

"We thought about places like the John Radcliffe Hospital but that is quite well recognised so people do a lot of fundraising for them, whereas the Disney Ward in Northampton is smaller and not thought about as much."

Emma, who is a wedding photographer, is no stranger to helping others in need.

When she found herself redundant during the first lockdown with all weddings being put on pause, she helped to raise hundreds of pounds for food bank charity, The Trussell Trust, through her 'doorstep photography' project.She would capture perfect professional shots of families and friends living together on their doorstep from a distance and then request a donation of £15 to the Trussell Trust. Much to Emma's surprise, her project really took off and she raised around £2,000 for the charity.

Emma's charity work has since inspired conversations at home about acts of kindness and helping others and she is very happy that her selflessness has rubbed off on her 10-year-old son.

She said: "Now he has done his first act of kindness, I hope it will inspire him to go down that path in life - thinking of others - because we need more of that in the world, don't we? I just think it is really important that, when raising our kids, we appreciate what we have and we help people not as fortunate as us."

Caleb's headteacher at Blisworth Community Primary School, Leah Jenkins, said she has so much 'pride and admiration' for him following his heartwarming gesture.

Miss Jenkins said: "Our school family chose our values together - one of which is the value of community. It has meant so much to us during the pandemic because all members of our community - parents, children and the village - have embraced it with passion to make sure that our children achieve their very best despite Covid.

"Caleb's act of kindness and clear demonstration of community values has inspired us all. With such a selfless act as a child, as his Headteacher, I cannot wait to hear of the wonderful things that he goes on to achieve for others in the future.

"Caleb is donating to a Macmillan room that means a great deal to the Blisworth School Family - we are so proud of him."

Miss Jenkins added that Caleb's 'kind act' will be recognised in a celebration assembly.

To find out more about the Disney Ward at Northampton General Hospital, visit their page on the NGH website.