Teenage fundraiser gets the call from struggling charity

A teenage fundraiser has been called upon by a struggling charity to come to their aid.

Tom Ingram, 14, has raised over 8,300 for his charity group Kid Relief over the past two years from various fundraising events.

The cash has gone to the Rocky Appeal, his motivation stemming from the loss of his mum Karen Ingram who lost her battle with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in July 2008.

Now the teen is spending 2010 with the Hampshire Autistic Society, to help give their funds a boost.

Tom came across the charity through his connections at the Eastleigh Lakeside Steam Railway & Country Park where they have both held events.

And after learning about the charity the enthusiastic lad offered up his services.

Tom, of Chatsworth Avenue, Cosham, said: 'I feel good about it, I want to do more events this year and raise more money than previous years.

'I'd like to have a different charity every year to help, this year will be the Hampshire Autistic Society.'

So Tom has set the wheels in motion and has organised Kid Relief mascot, Muddles the Bear, to come to the charity's gala at Eastleigh Steam Engine Railway on July 19.

Cash will be raised through charging people to have their pictures taken Muddles.

He is also using his website kidrelief.org to urge people to run for the charity in this year's Great South Run.

Kerry James, events fundraiser at the Hampshire Autistic Society, said: 'We are really excited that he has chosen us.

'It is just fantastic all the stuff Tom has done since losing his mum. He has been really successful.

'I can't imagine many kids his age doing any of this.'

Despite all of his efforts and hard work, Tom remains modest about his success.

He said: 'Sometimes I get more credit than I should. I am not a hero, there are other people who do more than me.'

'I hope that she (his mum) is proud of me. All of the events have got her memory in them. Sometimes it feels unreal, it wasn't that long ago since this all started.

'I think sometimes, because of my age, people think I am scamming them. But I feel more confident than when I first started.'

WISH LIST

Tom has many wishes for 2010 and his fundraising. Here are a few of his goals:

To have a successful Pirate-themed Kid Relief event for the Rocky Appeal at Eastleigh Lakeside Steam Railway & Country Park on May 22 and raise more cash than last year

To register Kid Relief as a charity, which requires 5,000 to do

To get more children involved in fundraising. He will soon have children's fundraising packs on his website, giving them ideas

To smash 2009's fundrasing total of 3,300

To get people involved in running in the Great South Run for the Hampshire Autistic Society

To help more charities and organise more events.