Barkingside schoolboy collects more than 1000 advent calendars for less fortunate children this Christmas

The calendars were collected by Neo and his mum Rina, who then donated them to six charities for onward distribution.

The calendars were collected by Neo and his mum Rina, who then donated them to six charities for onward distribution. Picture: Rina Jain Naha - Credit: Archant

A schoolboy from Barkingside has shown off his charitable side by collecting more than 1000 advent calendars for less fortunate children this Christmas.

Neo is a huge chocolate fan, so didn't like the idea that other kids of his age may not have a calendar this year.

Neo is a huge chocolate fan, so didn't like the idea that other kids of his age may not have a calendar this year. Picture: Rina Jain Naha - Credit: Archant

Neo Jain Naha, 8, decided in October that he wanted to give something back: “I wanted to do something around Halloween but there wasn’t enough time, so me and my mum decided to do something Christmassy. I love chocolate and love opening my advent calendar, so I wanted other kids to have that.”

Mum Rina helped Neo set up the Treats For Kids website, which allowed people to either donate advent calendars directly or give money so that they could be purchased.

The month of November was a busy one, with 1144 calendars gathered over the course of the 30 days.

Rina explains how: “We have been collecting them, they took up a whole room at home. Each day Neo was bringing bags of calendars home from school that his peers had donated, and we were picking them up from peoples houses. Lots of people also dropped them off to us, and we even had people who organised Amazon and supermarket deliveries of calendars to our home.”

Eight-year-old Neo Jain Naha, from Barkingside, has collected 1144 advent calendars to be given to children who may not...

Eight-year-old Neo Jain Naha, from Barkingside, has collected 1144 advent calendars to be given to children who may not otherwise get a calendar this Christmas. Picture: Rina Jain Naha - Credit: Archant

The initiative has had an impact on local supplies: “I think we may have all the stock as we haven’t been able to buy any calendars locally for the last few weeks!”

Once gathered the calendars were given to six charities for onward distribution: 344 went to The Magpie Project, 350 to 3Food4u, 60 to Barnardo’s Wellbeing Hub in Ilford, 70 to the Acorn children’s ward at Whipps Cross Hospital, 120 to the Haven House Children’s Hospice in Woodford Green and 200 to paediatric community nurse team at Central Middlesex Hospital.


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Of the final total, Neo says: “I am proud, everyone was really generous!”

He also really enjoyed himself, so much so that the Forest School pupil is considering doing something similar for Easter.

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Though keen to encourage her son wherever she can, Rina wants to unwind after a month of hard work before considering the next charitable effort.

That said, she would do it all again, and is delighted by Neo’s philanthropy: “Even to think of doing something like that, and to think of other children – he’s made us really proud.”

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