Teen turns Africa trip disappointment into foodbank fundraising bonanza
- Credit: Archant
It was meant to be the trip of a lifetime.
But when Sol Rivett was forced to cancel a volunteering experience in Africa, he was determined not to let his fundraising efforts go to waste.
Sol, of Norwich Road, Cromer, had spent the past 12 months devoting much of his spare time to putting on events to fundraise for a life-changing volunteering trip to Zanzibar, in Tanzania.
But he was left disappointed after the coronavirus pandemic put a stop to the trip, which he was due to go on with several classmates from Cromer Academy.
However, the determined 13-year-old decided to put that behind him and instead turn his hand to helping closer to home by handing over a generous donation of nearly a quarter of tonne of food and essentials to people who may be struggling to eat.
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He said: “It feels really good to have been able to give something back.
“It’s been hard work but it’s also been quite fun too.
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“I’ve also enjoyed doing something for my local community and I’m really proud of myself.”
Despite the setback, Sol, an aspiring sports teacher, was keen to do some good with the money raised so, with his mum Jackie Rivett, he approached Central England Co-op in Middlebrook Way, Cromer.
The store had supported him to raise the funds for the trip so he wanted to see if he could do something for a cause important to the store team.
Ms Rivett said: “Sol had been really looking forward to the trip and had really got his teeth into raising the funds for it. He had received great help from the team at the Co-op who really supported him by letting him hold raffles, tombolas and even a Christmas market at the store.
“Therefore, he wanted to give something back to them in a way by doing something on their behalf by supporting Cromer Food Bank who they have a close relationship with and support in the store.
“Also, it was local people who came in and bought the raffle tickets, donated prizes to the raffles and tombola’s and supported the Christmas market so Sol wanted to do something that supported the local community, particularly in these tough times, so it was a no-brainer to help the foodbank really.”
The pair went to the store and did a shop for the food bank with the money raised, and ended up with six trolleys full.
Ms Rivett added: “We had to go around the store a couple of times to do it - it was like Supermarket Sweep.
“The food bank was blown away by the donation. Apparently it was nearly a quarter of a tonne of goods when they weighed it out.”
Sol has also been able to do a similar donation for Sheringham Food Bank at Tesco in the town, also at Coxford’s Butchers in Aylsham for Cancer Research UK, and Miramar Veterinary Centre in Cromer for local charity, FAITH Animal Rescue.
Blain Price, team leader at Central England Co-op in Cromer, said the team was “over the moon” that Sol had decided to support the food bank with the money raised for the trip.
He added: “We were delighted to support Sol.
“He and his mum Jackie are regular customers and it was a pleasure to help how we could.
“For Sol to want to use the money for the trip to support the food bank and link it with us is fantastic and we are over the moon.
“We are all passionate about supporting the food bank and have worked closely with them, particularly during the pandemic. It is lovely to see this sort of community co-operation and spirit in these uncertain times.”