Big-hearted RAF Leeming youngster organises own fundraising

The Advertiser Series: James Prest and his mother Corporal Jo Jones at the RAF Leeming recycling centre. James Prest and his mother Corporal Jo Jones at the RAF Leeming recycling centre.

A TEN-year-old boy with autism organised his own Children in Need fundraiser after learning that some children don’t have their own bed.

James Prest’s autism means he finds it difficult to feel empathy for people he can't see or doesn’t know.

Despite this, he was so concerned after watching a trailer on child poverty for Children In Need that he decided to do something.

His mother, Corporal Jo Jones, who lives with her son at RAF Leeming, near Bedale, North Yorkshire, said:  "He asked why some children don’t have beds, and if we could give them the money to buy one. So I suggested raising some money.”

James earns his weekly pocket money by taking the family’s plastic, glass and cardboard to the RAF Leeming recycling point each week.

So he decided to broaden his scope and offer his services to families across the station for a donation.

The RAF Leeming Primary School pupil gave up a cinema trip with his grandparents to go around the station collecting recycling and even donated his own pocket money. In total he raised £100.

His efforts were made all the more remarkable by the fact that his project involved him having to speak to strangers, which he finds difficult.

“I went around too because it’s difficult for James to meet lots of new people at once and it was quite a big deal for him,” said his mother.

“I was so proud of him – he was so polite and grateful to people.”

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