Primary school pupil uses pocket money to help homeless man
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
The plight of a man living on the streets of Long Stratton has so moved a primary school pupil that he used his pocket money to help him.
Hayden Ily decided to spend money his mum had given him on food for the man rather than sweets or toys after he saw him outside shops on Swan Lane on his way to school.
The 11-year-old, who is a Year 6 pupil at St Mary's Junior School, said since helping his friends had also been inspired to follow suit.
He said: 'I felt sorry for him because he is less fortunate so I think anyone would want to do that to help him. I've seen him there loads of times so when my mum gave me some money because I was good on my school trip I wanted to spend it on him.
'I think it might not be his fault that he is on the street. He could be there for any reason.
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'After I had done it my friends started doing it as well. A lot of people have been helping him I think because it is not the nicest thing to see him there. I don't think anyone deserves to be homeless regardless of whether they are a horrible person or not.'
The appearance of the homeless man, who is aged in his twenties and is believed to be originally from Thetford, has prompted villagers to rally around to help him. A funding campaign has been set up and others have taken to social media to rally support to help him gain advice and support.
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Hayden's mum Sara Rice said: 'He has been there about two weeks now and I know a lot of the community have been trying to help him with a Gofundme page and to help try to get him re-housed.
'I'm so proud of Hayden. I believe charity starts at home so to see him choosing to help someone he had seen on the streets I thought it was a really nice thing to do.
'I gave him a few pounds for behaving well at school and, instead of spending the money on himself, he went into the shop and bought the homeless guy a sandwich and a drink.'
Hayden's community spirit has seen him given a special role at school helping to organise community activities to help others.