Isabella’s birthday gift to boost homeless charity

Year 2 pupil at St Teresa's Catholic Primary School, Cleveleys, Isabel Aiten-Moyes pictured writing to her friends to ask if they would donate to the Streetlife charity rather than buy presents at her birthday party this week.

Year 2 pupil at St Teresa's Catholic Primary School, Cleveleys, Isabel Aiten-Moyes pictured writing to her friends to ask if they would donate to the Streetlife charity rather than buy presents at her birthday party this week.

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Cash donated to Streetlife, which has a daytime base on Buchanan Street, Blackpool, and a hostel in central Blackpool for homeless people aged 16-25, will help ensure it can help those most in need.

Wendy Aiton will have been the proudest mum on Mother’s Day yesterday.

Her daughter, Isabella Aiton-Moyes, was seven-years-old this weekend and is already proving an inspiration to others.

Isabella asked friends to not bring her presents, but instead give donations to Streetlife in Blackpool.

The youngster, from Cleveleys, was left speechless and “very sad” after seeing a homeless man and learning of his fate, while on a holiday in Edinburgh last weekend.

Having helped by sharing her spending money with him – a generous £5 – the youngster is now on a mission to help others.

The St Teresa’s Catholic Primary School pupil said: “Before I saw the man I would have asked for nail polish or dolls or DVDs, but helping people is more important, definitely.

“It’s not about having lots of toys, it’s about helping people and making them feel happy.”

Isabella was out for breakfast in the Scottish capital with her mum when she saw a homeless man, with only a sleeping bag for shelter.

She said: “I saw lots of poor people and they just had sleeping bags to sit in. It made me feel sad. Everyone was walking past him and he looked so cold.”

The youngster was so struck by his plight that she couldn’t eat her food, and she insisted on giving her holiday spending money to the man to buy a breakfast of his own.

Proud mum Wendy said: “Your first reaction is that you don’t take your six-year-old to talk to a stranger, but she has a good level of understanding and she does like to think about other people.

“She had a lovely conversation with him and gave him about £5. I was so proud of her, she had such empathy with a man most people were avoiding.”

Isabella added: “I think it will have made him happy. It made me feel happy too.

“Mummy said I had done a good thing, and hopefully the man will now believe there are good people in the world.

“I still felt a little bit sad when I thought about him though.”

After returning home from holiday, Isabella started to plan her birthday party, but instead of drawing up a presents list she asked her mum if she could have charity donations instead.

She said: “Mummy looked like she wanted to cry for some reason, but she smiled and said it was a lovely idea. It makes me feel happy and like I’m making a difference.”
Isabella was today praised by Jane Hugo, chief executive of Streetlife, which offers shelter and support to young people, aged 16-25, who find themselves homeless.

Mrs Hugo said “It is really heart-warming to hear how touched Isabella was by her experience in Edinburgh, and that she has not forgotten about it when she has come home.

“It’s really good that she wants to help local people in the same situation.

“I think, as adults, we can all become a bit desensitised when we see people sleeping rough, and it is refreshing to hear how much this young person cares.

“Hopefully, Isabella can remind us all that it’s a shocking reality of society that so many people are in this situation and that we can alldo our bit to help.”

Isabella added: “Grown ups could do this too.”

Proud class teacher Sarah Oxley said her pupil was a “role model” to others after “putting into action” what the class has learned about sharing during Lent.

She said: “It’s amazing what Isabella is doing.

“It’s one thing for children to learn about Christian values but to put it into action at 
such a young age is inspirational.

“Adults can be cynical 
in thinking the worst of people but from the child’s innocence of giving that money, I genuinely believe that the man in Edinburgh will have responded well to that.

“She is a credit to our school and her family.”