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Meet the seven-year-old who said no to Christmas presents

PUBLISHED: 06:00 13 December 2019 | UPDATED: 11:12 13 December 2019

Grace Ford donated over £130 of goods, which included treats, toys and dental sticks. Picture: Carley Ford

Grace Ford donated over £130 of goods, which included treats, toys and dental sticks. Picture: Carley Ford

Archant

With Christmas just around the corner, most children are feverishly adding the finishing touches to their letters for Santa.

Grace Ford was moved by a rescue dog at school, which prompted her decision to give up her Christmas presents. Picture: Hillside Animal SanctuaryGrace Ford was moved by a rescue dog at school, which prompted her decision to give up her Christmas presents. Picture: Hillside Animal Sanctuary

But seven-year-old Grace Ford from Lakenham has shunned presents this year and asked her family for donations for rescue dogs instead.

The Eaton Primary School student was given £130 by family rather than must-have toy FurReal bear and bought a host of toys, treats and dental sticks at Pets At Home, Amazon and Ebay.

On Tuesday, she visited Hillside Animal Sanctuary in Frettenham near Norwich and handed out the gifts to the appreciative pooches.

Grace said: "It was very exciting. I think all the dogs were pretty happy. All of them were really nice and one of the dogs jumped really high. All of the dogs were my favourite, although I did have four very best favourites."

Grace Ford said she had four Grace Ford said she had four "very favourite" rescue dogs at Hillside Animal Sanctuary. Picture: Hillside Animal Sanctuary

Her mother, Carley Ford, a healthcare assistant at the Norfolk and Norwich University hospital, said the sanctuary was shocked by the huge donation.

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The 32-year-old added: "They were really pleased by all the bags and said they had never received anything like this with donations before."

Dog rescue co-ordinator at Hillside Animal Sanctuary Ali Wells said: "It was a huge donation of goodies for Christmas and we were so grateful and Grace really enjoyed meeting the dogs."

Grace's generosity was prompted by a visit from a one-eyed rescue dog at school, which left her feeling "very upset."

She added: "I asked my mum if I could swap my presents for toys for rescue dogs because I didn't want any other rescue dog to be unhappy this Christmas so I wanted to get them treats."

Mrs Ford said she was very proud but not surprised by Grace's decision.

She added: "It was completely down to her. It is a nice thing to do. Not many children are willing to give up presents for dogs but I am very happy she chose to do it."

Now Grace plans to donate to the sanctuary every Christmas and has already asked for dog gifts instead of birthday presents.

Do you have alternative plans this Christmas? Email ruth.lawes@archant.co.uk

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