10-year-old boy secures big-name donations - including Tesco, Waitrose and Boots - for his Christmas hamper appeal for Preston's most needy

A 10-year-old boy has had an "amazing" response to his Christmas hamper appeal for Preston's most needy - but needs more help.

By Catherine Musgrove
Thursday, 9th December 2021, 4:44 pm

Bleddyn Howard from Preston is home-schooled by his mum Faye, and his dad Matt works for Key Unlocking Futures - a charity that helps 1,500 people every year into employment and accomodation.

Bleddyn contacted Key Unlocking Futures to ask if he could create a fundraising project by putting together hampers for residents living in supported housing, and the project has really taken off.

He has so far managed to secure donations from big names including Tesco, Waitrose, Boots, Hobbycraft, Morrisons, The Entertainer and Beech's Fine Chocolates, who have donated vouchers, gifts sets, toiletries, crafting sets and food.

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Bleddyn collecting donations for his hampers

>>>To find out more or to donate, visit Bleddyn's Facebook page here.

Matt said: "He really enjoys giving to others, especially at Christmas because he wants everyone to enjoy Christmas with special treats. It was Bleddyn’s idea to create the special Christmas hampers, so we thought we would make it into a little project for him, drafting and writing letters and emails, managing money and craft."

He added: "Bleddyn drew up a plan of the kind of things he would like to go in the hampers and then was supported to search the internet for local shops and businesses that sold items that matched his plan.

"He created a letter approaching Key to get permission to do the project, and request a letter of introduction from them that he could show the businesses he wanted to approach.

Bleddyn Howard, 10

"Gaining the support from the businesses and local individuals has been a mixture of him visiting the shops and organisations in person and talking to them about his project and the reasons behind it, making phonecalls - supported by mum - and sending emails.

"He was also supported by mum to create his Facebook page to try and reach local individuals as he wanted the hampers to be a gift from the people/community of Preston.

"The primary element to gaining support has been communication. Talking to people, organisations and businesses about what he is trying to do. The response has been amazing from all members of the community and he is well on his way to achieving his goal which is why he wanted to also use his Facebook page to personally thank everyone who has made a donation."

Jayne Allison, Business Development Manager for Key Unlocking Futures, said, “We are delighted that Bleddyn wanted to do this for the residents we support. For many, it might be the only gift they receive this Christmas. We want to thank Bleddyn, his parents and the local community for getting behind his fantastic project.”

Bleddyn at Waitrose, Walton-le-Dale

Bleddyn is still looking for more donations for his hampers. If you can help, contact him via his Facebook page or drop donations off at Foundations in Oxford Street, Preston, PR1 3SG.