FOR some children, the gift of giving is more important than receiving presents. And these youngsters are spending their Christmas bringing cheer to others.
From helping the homeless to delivering presents to hospital patients, they are a Christmas inspiration.
Stewart Williams These kind children are planning those less privileged than them have a brighter Christmas by helping out with charities and donating gifts
Here CLARE O’REILLY meets the kids who are definitely right at the top of Santa’s “nice” list this year.
FOUR-year-old LILY BARBA GREATREX has spent most of her young life in and out of hospital being treated for heart conditions. At just ten days old she had her first heart surgery and was in intensive care for eight days.
She knows what it is like to spend Christmas in hospital and this Christmas Day she will be at her local hospital in Norwich, delivering 1,000 donated presents to people who are “poorly, just like I was”.
Stewart Williams Lily, aged four, spent her early life in hospital with a heart condition and now wants to donate presents to other poorly children
Mum Chloe, 29, says: “Lily started asking friends and family for donations of gifts because she wanted to make everyone happier on a day when they want to be home with family but can’t be.
“She’ll be delivering them to Norfolk and Norwich Hospital and has arranged all the gifts for different ages and genders.”
Lily says: “I like giving things to other people. It’s not nice being in hospital over Christmas so I thought this would be a good way to make everyone smile.
“My school have helped me collect donations and Mummy’s helped me wrap them all. I’m excited and I can’t wait to make people who are poorly feel better with a present.
Stewart Williams Four-year-old Lily wishes everyone will do something charitable and kind over the festive period
“I wish I could get everyone to do something nice for other people at Christmas – even if it’s just giving someone lonely a hug.”
EIGHT-year-old IVY RUMFORD is volunteering to help the charity Open Christmas near her home on Christmas Day. It holds a lunch for the homeless and lonely.
Mum Teresa, 46, from Molesworth, Cambs, says: “I lost my job as a dinner lady and explained to Ivy that Christmas would be a bit tighter than normal. She was fine with it and we talked about how we’re still very lucky because we have a roof over our heads and food on the table.
Stewart Williams Ivy Rumford, 8, is volunteering with a local shelter to host a Christmas dinner for the homeless and lonely with her mum
“It got her thinking and she asked if we could do something at Christmas for people less lucky than us.”
Ivy says: “Helping others gives me a nice warm feeling inside. When I’m older I want to be a vet and work for a charity. I told my teachers what I’m doing and they have said I’m kind.”
EVELYN SALISBURY is still only seven years old but she and her little sister Gwen, three, have spent the last few years making up festive hampers for the local emergency services.
They deliver home-made goodies on Christmas morning before coming home to open their own presents.
Stewart Williams Evelyn, seven, and Gwen, three, are delivering goodies to local emergency services before returning home to dig into their own presents
Mum Rhoslyn, 35, a publishing consultant from Cheltenham, Gloucs, says: “On Christmas morning we make chocolate brownies and package up some shop-bought treats, then we visit the police station, the fire station, the ambulance depot and the local hospital maternity unit where Gwen was born.”
Evelyn says: “Everyone that we give the treats to is really grateful.
“We get to sit in the fire engine, too, and honk the horn, which is great fun for the girls but really loud.
“It’s also just really lovely going out in the fresh air during Christmas morning, blowing away the cobwebs – and now I cannot imagine not doing it.”
Million £ mission
NINE-year-old ALFIE OSWICK is thinking big – he has raised more than £4,500 for local support group Dereham Cancer Care but is determined to go on until he makes a million.
The group, near his home in Cawston, Norwich, helped his great-grandad Royston, who died of cancer two years ago, aged 72.
Stewart Williams Alfie Oswick, nine, has raised over £4500 for his local cancer support group but plans to hit £1million
Mum Jennifer, 30, a personal trainer, says: “The centre helped me when I was diagnosed with melanoma in 2013 and Alfie’s great-grandmother received help from them too when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“She died in 2011 aged 67. Alfie has seen the difference the centre has made to our family and he’s determined to reach his target of £1million, even if it takes him a while to do it.”
Alfie, who has done bake sales, raffles and quiz nights for Dereham Cancer Care, says: “I liked being able to give the cancer centre money last year – it made me feel good, which is why I wanted to keep doing it.
“There’s a lady in our village who has been having cancer treatment and lost all her hair, so I’ve done a secret Christmas hamper for her which I’ll leave on her doorstep on Christmas Eve and then knock on her door but run away before she opens it.
Stewart Williams Alfie saw the difference Dereham Cancer Care made to his great-grandmother who was diagnosed with breast cancer
“Doing things for others makes me feel nice and I think if I can help a little bit, I should.”
Looking forward to being in the shelter
CHRISTMAS is an extra-busy time for PARIS JANE, 11, and her five-year-old sister Peaches.
Last year they made meals for their local homeless community in Manchester, and this year they are working as volunteers with the Streetlife charity, helping to prepare a shelter for the homeless to sleep in.
Stewart Williams Paris Jane and Peaches will volunteer help prepare shelters for the homeless to sleep this Christmas
Mum Rebecca, 33, a business owner, says: “Last year I gave the girls £50 which they spent on making lunches to give out on the street.
“They spent days working on them and while they were shy at first, they loved giving them out.
“They wanted to do something again this year so they’ll be volunteering for the shelter.
“Paris and Peaches are privileged girls who don’t want for anything, so it’s important they grow up learning that not everyone has what they have.”
Stewart Williams Last year, Paris and Peaches helped prepare Christmas dinner for the homeless in their local area