A seven-year-old boy from South Wiltshire has turned to baking to raise money for the homeless.
Mason Harris was so concerned about the plight of people with nowhere to live that he baked cakes for a fundraising event that has raised £335 for Salisbury Trust for the Homeless (STFH).
Mason Harris and his two-year-old sister Maddison came to the STFH office in Salisbury and presented a cheque to Ross Foster-Manning, the charity’s Project Leader.
Mason, from Larkhill, was in Salisbury with his mother Sarah when he saw some rough sleepers and asked why they had nowhere to live.
She said, “I tried to explain to him and he replied that we ought to help and asked what we could do. So we looked at various charities and we decided that we would rather select a local one so we chose Salisbury Trust for the Homeless.”
Mason set to work baking assisted by Maddison with their mother, a Ministry of Defence civil servant, keeping an eye on their progress.
The result was a fine chocolate cake with the letters ‘STFH’ and the charity’s logo on it along with cupcakes, a carrot cake and chocolate brownies.
Meanwhile, their father Joe, an Army Warrant Officer, asked his friends in a metal detectorists group called the History Hunters to help.
The result was a metal detecting day near Salisbury attended by enthusiasts from all over the country where Mason and Maddison ran a cake stall.
Sales from the latter plus donations from the detectorists raised a total of £335.
“They all had a brilliant day and we were so happy to raise the money for such a brilliant local charity,” added Sarah.
Sarah and Joe also asked colleagues at their respective workplaces to donate items to give to STFH clients.
“We have made up 10 bags of toiletries, socks and sweets plus we have some boots, interview clothes, warm clothes and a sleeping bag,” said Sarah.
These were delivered when Mason and Maddison presented the cheque.
Gordon Pardy, head of fundraising at STFH, said, “We are so grateful to the Harris family both for the money raised and for the bags of items for our clients. We are particularly touched that a seven-year-old was so concerned about the plight of the homeless that he was determined to do something to help.”
STFH has helped hundreds of people turn their lives around in recent years. Founded in 1987, the charity helps clients regain confidence and self-esteem, learn life skills, find education, training and employment opportunities, and access permanent accommodation, allowing them to return to independent living.
Support needs include mental health issues, learning disability, emotional support, drug and alcohol misuse, anti-social behaviour, budgeting, benefits claims and tenancy support.