A nine-year-old boy is spending his half term holiday braving the freezing weather to raise money for a homeless charity.
George Aston originally wanted to raise enough money to buy a new computer game and asked his mum to make him a Penny for the Guy which he set up outside the Rossmore Express store in Little Sutton.
But when he noticed a charity box for Chester’s Share Shop near the till, and realised he could help to buy food and drink for someone in need, he changed his mind and turned his efforts to raising money for the homeless instead.
Just days later, George, of Pooltown Road, Ellesmere Port, has already raised more than £120 for the Share Shop, and now spends all his free time standing outside the shop with his charity box.
And the Rivacre Primary School pupil has even acquired a fan following on Facebook, thanks to a video posted by shop owner Onkar Singh-Bains, who keeps an eye on George during his charity mission, which he plans to keep up every day until Bonfire Night.
The heartwarming footage of George thanking those who have donated has racked up more than 7,000 views.
Onkar, who volunteers for Chester’s Share Shop, told The Chronicle: “I think what George is doing is absolutely brilliant. People in Ellesmere Port, like in other towns, want to help they just don’t always know the right way to do so and things like the Share Shop encourage people to come out and volunteer - we want to inspire young people to grow up wanting to help others.
“I am planning to take George to the cash and carry and pick out a treat for the homeless people, so he knows he has chosen something especially for them. He’s a brilliant lad.”
And George’s mum Louisa, 35, said her son has been ‘changed completely’ since he started raising money, and she couldn’t be prouder of him.
“He wanted to try and get some money for a computer game so I helped him make the guy knowing he’d be safe as I know Onkar would keep an eye on him, and my nan also lives directly across the road so I knew he would be OK,” she said.
“The first night he noticed a box near the till for the homeless and asked about it. We explained that it was for the homeless and he asked me: ‘If I put money in there will it mean someone gets food and a drink?’
“I told him it would and he went back outside and by the end of the night had got £5 and he kept £1 for himself to get some Lucozade and then put the rest of it in the homeless box. We told him he didn’t need to but he said he wanted to.”
Louisa added: “Since then George has been there every day and the box has gone from holding pound coins to notes as more and more people have donated. People have given him hats, scarves and gloves to keep him warm and someone even bought him the computer game he originally wanted in the end.
“George hasn’t always been the most well behaved of little boys but this has changed him completely, and it’s great because it’s rubbing off on other kids - there are a few others who have been raising money for the Share Shop after seeing George do it - it’s just amazing to see,” said Louisa. “It’s been so cold out there but George doesn’t even seem to realise it, he has loved getting out there and doing some good.”