KIND-HEARTED schoolboy Ronnie Hazlie has collected more than 1,000 tins to help stock the shelves of a food bank for people in need.
Eight-year-old Ronnie, from Gosport, started his challenge last year when he collected 92 tins for the harvest festival at his school.
Following Ronnie’s first successful collection, which was sparked after he saw a documentary on television about food banks, he wanted to carry on and decided to keep collecting tins for people in need.
With help from his mum, Katy-Jane, Ronnie set up a Facebook page and collection points around the town.
Katy-Jane said: ‘Once we counted all of them and realised there were 1,157 cans, we were very impressed. We weren’t expecting that much support’.
The tins collected have been used to help stock Gosport and Fareham Basics Bank.
Ronnie and his mum dropped off the collection at the Gosport food bank, and it was gratefully received.
Phil Rutt, from the food bank, which provides a week’s worth of food to people who have been referred by the Job Centre, said: ‘It’s a brilliant achievement, we are very grateful.
‘As ever the communities of Fareham and Gosport support us wonderfully.
‘We are truly delighted, and Ronnie should be especially proud of himself for collecting so many tins. It was a wonderful effort.’
Ronnie has received recognition for his challenge from all over the country, including the House of Commons.
Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage wrote to him, thanking him for his efforts.
Katy-Jane said: ‘Once he understood what the letter was about he was excited and he couldn’t find words to explain how he was feeling.
‘He was quite surprised when he saw how many people were donating tins and how many we were able to help them,with.’
Katy-Jane described this project as a ‘life-changing experience’ that has helped Ronnie to realise how lucky he is.
She said the incredible collection was only possible thanks to the help they received from the Gosport community and that it also demonstrates that working all together can improve other people’s lives and achieve great things.
She said: ‘Our community couldn’t do any better. They have been brilliant encouraging everyone to donate tins.’
Ronnie is already thinking of a new project at Christmas which will focus on helping underprivileged children to have better festive season.
How you can make a donation to those in need
TO MAKE a donation to the Fareham and Gosport Basics bank there are several drop-off points.
There are trolleys in Sainsbury’s and Tesco in Fareham, the Co-op in Portchester Precinct and at Lee-on-the-Solent, and Waitrose in Locks Heath and Gosport.
Donations can also be made at the food banks directly; at Aspect House, in Westbury Road, Fareham, and David Bogue Hall, St Andrews Road, Gosport – open Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 1pm and 3pm.
The food bank is particularly short of; coffee, tinned meat and fish, custard, men’s deodorant, and tomato/brown sauce. For more search ‘Fareham and Gosport Basics Bank’ on Facebook.