Last month, Thames Reach’s youngest ever fundraiser Emily
Hill, who is seven years old, paid a visit to the organisation’s base at the Employment
Academy in Camberwell, to see how the money she raised is put to good use in helping
homeless and vulnerable people.
Emily, from Kent, had first become interested in raising money
for a homelessness charity after seeing people sleeping rough on the streets during
a visit to London last summer. This made Emily feel sad. Wanting to do
something to help, she set about convincing her mum Nicola to let her organise
a cake sale, from which she raised £135 to give to Thames Reach.
She then wrote a letter to Thames Reach’s fundraising
manager Milton Bevan, asking if she could pay a visit in order to learn more
about the charity’s services and the people she wanted to help.
On their visit, Emily and Nicola joined the regular Friday reading
group along with a number of Thames Reach service users, where they read Edith
Nesbit’s The Railway Children, before taking a tour of the building with Milton
and former Thames Reach client Michael Ferriter.
Afterwards, taking advantage of the sunny morning in the
Employment Academy courtyard, and after a large slice of chocolate cake, Emily had
a series of questions for Milton about how Thames Reach raises money and how it
puts these funds to use. Emily also had a number of questions for Michael about
his experiences of homelessness, and how Thames Reach had helped him.
questions helped generate a discussion about how, after having helped people to
get off the streets, it’s important for organisations to provide services that
encourage and support individuals to rebuild their lives, develop their self-confidence
and learn new skills.
the end of her visit, Emily said: “Raising that money so I could help
people made me happy.”
Milton added: “I think Emily is brilliant, her actions are a
testament to her kindness and caring for others. We are lucky to have her as a