Six-year-old raising money to give homeless children in Sunderland a Christmas to remember


Jessica Willey, aged six, from Washington has raised around £500 in cash and donations by selling Christmas cards in order to give homeless children in Sunderland a Christmas that they will remember.

Her efforts will mean that 32 children, who are aged from a new born baby to 17-years-old, will receive Christmas presents this year.

The children are in the care of homeless charity Centre Point and Jessica will be using the money to buy toys, clothes, sweets and toiletries which will be wrapped for them to open on Christmas morning.

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Jessica with some of the Christmas presents for homeless children in Sunderland.
Jessica with some of the Christmas presents for homeless children in Sunderland.

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Jessica’s school, St Joseph’s primary RC in Washington, have also pledged to give a cash donation to the charity to help boost donations even further.

Her mum, Andrea Willey has told the Echo where the idea to give homeless children gifts came from and explained how difficult Christmas is for them.

The 37-year-old said: “Jessica is very aware and understands how difficult Covid has made it for some families throughout both lockdowns.

Jessica designed Christmas cards which have been professionally printed to sell and raise money.

“She designed some Christmas cards which we have had professional printed and decided that we’d choose Centre Point for the charity.

“We’re going to help 32 children who got nothing last year, only a selection box but this year they will receive things like toys, clothes and toiletries.”

She even received a Commonwealth Point of Light award for her fundraising work with the rainbows and Andrea has spoken about how proud she is of Jessica’s efforts throughout the difficult year.

The children will receive gifts such as toiletries, sweets, toys and clothes.

The mum-of-three added: “This is her third campaign and I’m just blown away by the response that she has had.

“I’m so proud, everyone has been affected by the impact of coronavirus but people are still coming forward to help Jessica.

“Her school are behind her by helping her out and she is going to be included in their next newsletter. It’s just so kind what she wants to do.”

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