Clayhall schoolgirl, 11, launches scheme to help Redbridge’s homeless this winter
PUBLISHED: 11:30 27 October 2016
A selfless 11-year-old girl is hoping to make this winter a little easier on the borough’s rough sleepers by distributing packs of warm clothing and toiletries.
Hanah Khan, of Earlswood Gardens, Clayhall, first had the idea when she spotted a number of homeless people while walking through a station on her way home from school.
She told the Recorder: “I thought everyone should be doing more to help them. Winter is the hardest time for them so I began thinking about ways I could help.”
The Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa College student made the kind decision to spend the money she had received from friends and family for Eid, about £70, on scarves, hats and other winter essentials she could then hand out to the borough’s homeless.
“Not enough has been done to help the homeless – these people don’t have many things and other people have lots of things and people should be generous,” she said.
To that end, she then set up a WhatsApp group containing a number of friends, family and community figures, asking them to donate as much as they could.
Her charitable efforts have seen her fill 20 packs with clothes and items such as toothbrushes and soap to help Redbridge’s homeless people make it through the winter months.
She plans to distribute the packs, many of which have messages of support such as “you are loved”, throughout the colder November and December nights.
“My mum and I will ride around in the car and whenever we see someone sleeping rough we’ll jump out and give them a pack,” she said.
But ambitious Hanah revealed that despite beginning to collect donations for the packs this summer, she plans to keep going with the scheme until she has enough money to fill 30.
Hanah’s altruistic nature has long been evident to her friends and family – on a trip to Malaysia two years ago she gave out stationery at an orphanage before visiting young cancer patients at a hospital to distribute toys.
The 11-year-old’s mother Minah is incredibly proud of the fantastic work her daughter has achieved so far.
“It’s great that she’s so selfless,” she told the Recorder.
“When she left primary school she was asked what she wanted to do and all she said was that she wanted to help people.
“Now she’s actually doing that and I could not be more proud of her.”
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