Upset by the thought of people living on the streets, eight-year-old Albie Leahy has taken on the task of doing what he can to help.
The kind youngster, from Waterlooville, has collected nearly £300 in donations from friends and family to create shoeboxes full of essential items for people living on the streets in Portsmouth.
Albie, a Denmead Junior School pupil, said: ‘It makes me sad when people don’t have anywhere to stay or anything and I don’t want them to be cold and have no presents to open on Christmas Day.
‘It's especially going to be cold and homeless people don’t have very much and I want to make them happy.’
Albie has created more than 50 shoeboxes filled with toiletries, socks, gloves, soap and more, collected eight sleeping bags and a tent, and is set to buy a week’s worth of breakfast items to feed people who need it.
Albie and his family contacted Helping Hands Portsmouth, which supports vulnerable and homeless people, and Albie will join the organisation for an evening feeding people on the streets and handing out his gifts.
He said: ‘I am really excited and happy about it because they will have food which will hopefully make them smile and feel wanted. Also I want them to like my presents I have made for them.’
Proud mum Laura Leahy said her son has always been very caring and loving, and has always shared his things with the foster children the family takes in.
Laura, a food technology teacher, said: ‘He always cries at homeless people and we were watching a programme and there was a homeless person and he burst into tears and said he needed to do something.
‘I’m really proud of him because he doesn’t do it for recognition at all, he’s just doing it completely from the heart because it bothers him.’
The family usually buy food for the homeless on Christmas Eve, but Laura was pleased to see Albie taking this one step further.
She said: ‘It’s been such a horrible year for everybody. I’m hoping he will remember 2020 for what he’s achieved.’