The creative fundraising efforts of an 11-year-old school girl have been praised by a West Norfolk charity facing a funding crisis.
Libby Baker put pen to paper to raise money for West Norfolk Carers, and young carers in particular, after seeing how the King’s Lynn-based charity helped a friend.
The Heacham youngster wrote a short story called Percy Pegg’s Football Sensation and her family helped to get 100 copies printed.
Libby sold copies for £2 and on Monday she presented £250 to West Norfolk Carers, which could close its Queen Street office in December if it cannot make up a £53,000 funding shortfall.
Family members of the former Heacham Junior School pupil, who started Wisbech Grammar School this week, read in Your Local Paper about the charity’s plight and Libby decided she wanted to help.
The youngster, whose parents are Ed and Nina Baker, spent the summer holidays working on the project.
She said: “Once I had the storyline, it just clicked into place. I just wanted to raise awareness and help. I am really happy with what I raised. They are really nice people. I just wanted to do something for the charity. It is local and I am glad to help them.
“A lot of children need their help and we need to come together to make the world a better place. I am happy it is helping some of them.”
Mrs Baker said the family were “really proud” of Libby, whose sister Zara, 8, helped her to sell copies of the booklet.
“It is lovely what she has done and what she has achieved,” she said.
Jane Evans, the charity’s chief executive officer, was overwhelmed by Libby’s thoughtful gesture.
“Libby came to the office and it was so lovely to think that this little girl has thought about young carers and decided to do something about it.
“It is unusual for such a young person and we were so thrilled and so grateful. It means a lot to us that people in the community, even someone as young as Libby, are looking out for us and thinking about what carers do.”
A change in the way funding is allocated means the charity will not be able to support many of the area’s unpaid carers in the same way.
It currently helps more than 1,000 carers and its board of trustees has said the service provided for almost 25 years may have to stop.
Mrs Evans explained the charity received no government money to help the growing number of young carers on its books and relied on donations to support more than 200 local youngsters. Last month, the BBC Children in Need Appeal announced a £10,000 grant for the charity’s work with young carers and an anonymous person gave a £2,000 donation after reading about the charity’s plight in YLP. Mrs Evans said an application for another source for funding had been turned down.
“We are disappointed. It does put the service under so much pressure,” she said.
To help the charity, call 01553 768155 or visit: www.westnorfolkcarers.org.uk