8-year-old independently decides to run around Winton Recreation Ground to raise money for the homeless after hearing a talk at school

8th January 2019

As part of our marking of World Homeless Day late last year, we presented talks at local schools and gave pupils activity books on the subject of homelessness. The pupils then proceeded to raise funds for the charity by holding ‘Den Days’ and other activities.

After hearing our talk, 8-year-old Oliver of St Luke’s CofE Primary School decided he wanted to raise even more funds for the charity: “I sometimes run with my dad so I thought I could do one for the YMCA. I’d heard about how they help the homeless. I didn’t want any other people to be homeless.”

After creating a fundraising poster, he ran a number of times around Winton Recreation ground and raised £21 for the charity. His mother reported how he was reluctant to finish, apparently saying: “I won’t stop. This is for a good thing, Mummy!”

Later, Oliver visited our hostel in Westover Road to donate his funds. One of the former residents, former rough sleeper Steve Beale, thanked him for his efforts: “You’ve done real good, and we’re really grateful for the help,” he said to Oliver and shook his hand.

More recently, we presented Oliver with a photo of his visit and a certificate of thanks. “Oliver’s done a wonderful thing,” said our new Chief Executive Officer, Gareth Sherwood. “We are hugely grateful to all the local schools and pupils who raise money for us, and for one of those pupils to be inspired to raise even more for our work is truly heart-warming.”

The local schools involved in fundraising for World Homeless Day were St Luke’s, Bishop Aldhelm’s, Moordown St John’s, King’s Park Academy, Queen’s Park Academy, Muscliffe, Bournemouth Collegiate, St James’s Academy and Manorside Academy. Together they raised around £4000 to support YMCA Bournemouth’s work.

As the weather worsens, if you are concerned about a rough sleeper please contact the council rough sleeper team at b&pstreetoutreach@mungos.org or visit www.streetsupport.net/bournemouth for further information.

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