Here is what children in Leeds have been doing to help the less fortunate this Christmas

Young people in Leeds have been making sure to remember those less fortunate than themselves in the run up to this Christmas.

Sunday, 22nd December 2019, 6:00 am
Here is what children in Leeds have been doing to help those less fortunate this Christmas

With tens of thousands of people in Leeds living in absolute poverty, and rates of homelessness in the city on the rise, there are many for whom Christmas can be a miserable time. Here is what some children have been doing to help.

This nine-year-old has been collecting warm clothes and toiletries to donate to homeless people over Christmas

Jolie Smith, from Horsforth, came up with the idea last month of collecting jumpers to keep those sleeping rough and living in cold accommodation warm during December.

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Jolie Smith collected hundreds of items of warm clothing and wrote to local businesses asking for donations to buy items for the homeless over Christmas

The youngster, who goes to Westbrook Lane Primary School, has managed to accumulate hundreds of warm winter gear since setting up her own Facebook page, Jumpers from Jolie.

Jolie even wrote to local businesses about her idea and raised £120, which she spent on toiletries, chocolate and jogging bottoms.

Mum Stacey said: "I'm so proud of Jolie. She is a very selfless person and always thinks about other people.

"She is a beautiful little soul who always wants to help where she can."

Alfie and Joey Wormald got their friends and family to sponsor them to give up chocolate for a month so they could buy children's Christmas treats to donate to their local food bank

Jolie managed to collect in excess of 62 jumpers, 20 scarves and hats, 15 coats, 41 pairs or warm socks and five sleeping bags.

These young brothers gave up chocolate for a whole month so that they could raise money to buy chocolate for food banks

For most children, it's the ultimate sacrifice.

But brothers Alfie and Joey Wormald decided it was one they were willing to take so that other children in Leeds less fortunate than themselves could have chocolate this Christmas.

Alfie and Joey Wormald bought hundreds of selection boxes and chocolate reindeers for children in Leeds whose families will be using food banks over Christmas

The youngsters from Middleton, who are just seven and six, came up with the idea after seeing all the advent calendars for sale in October and realising hundreds of their peers may not be lucky enough to have one.

Alfie and Joey raised £170 through a JustGiving page to sponsor them abstaining from their favourite treat, which they used to buy chocolate Santas, reindeers and selection boxes.

The sweets were donated to Leeds South and East Food Bank, which was thrilled by their act of kindness.

The boys' mum Amie said: "They were amazingly disciplined.

Ella and Ruby Forrester used their money they got from Elf on the Shelf this Christmas to buy cans of food for their local food bank

"They were even reminding us not to give them chocolate!"

Children at this academy are heading back to school on Christmas Eve to serve meals for elderly people on their own

Willingly coming into school when you could be starting your Christmas celebrations is applaudable in itself, but doing so in order to spread a little for people who may be spending the season alone is even more of a feat.

Pupils at the Co-op Academy Priesthorpe, at Farsley, will be coming in on the 24th to help serve special meals for 44 elderly residents.

The event has been organised by Jane Pickering, the Academy's co-ordinator, as well as Site Superintendent Bob Turner who will be Head Chef.

The Academy's principal Martin Blacoe said: “This has been a great team effort and it sums up the spirit of Christmas here at Priesthorpe.

Ollie Brown, 17, offered to sing Christmas carols for cancer patients at Maggie's Yorkshire oncology centre at St James' Hospital in Leeds.

"Students and staff have embraced the idea and happily volunteered to come in on Christmas Eve, to put smiles on the faces of some of our local elderly residents.

“Bob served with Two Para in the Falklands and so he is going to love barking orders at me in the kitchen!”

Two little girls in west Leeds have used their Elf on the Shelf money to buy items for their local food bank

Ella and Ruby Forrester from Bramley were left money from elves in their Elf on the Shelf game at home which they used to buy supplies for food banks.

The sisters, aged seven and six respectively, got £1.50 from the elves, plus another £1 from mum Danielle Rushfirth, which they used for their donations.

Ella and Ruby bought cans of baked beans, rice and noodles at a shop in Tesco at Bramley Shopping Centre which they put into donation boxes provided for food banks.

Elf on the Shelf is a game played by children each year at Christmas, where elves miraculously move to different spots in the house every night and sometime leave little gifts and messages for children.

This teenager sang for cancer patients at Maggie's after no choirs were available to perform at a carol concert

Singing on your own in front of people may not sound something teenage lads would be keen on doing, but this 17-year-old was happy to put himself forward to provide a little cheer for people battling cancer this Christmas.

Keen chorister Oliver Brown, from Adel, performed solo carols at Maggie's Yorkshire at St James' Hospital in Leeds.

The centre had approached local schools to see if any choirs were available to perform at the cancer specialist centre over the season, but as none were available Ollie volunteered.

Mum Paula said: "He chose 12 really well-known carols for patients and staff to sing along to.

"He was originally going to sing and play guitar, but luckily a pianist called Angela Hall stepped in to help."

Ollie, who goes to Ralph Thoresby School and is a former head chorister at Leeds Minster, is currently applying to university and is training to be a composer.

Ollie Brown, 17, offered to sing Christmas carols for cancer patients at Maggie's Yorkshire oncology centre at St James' Hospital in Leeds.