Kind Doncaster teenager Kristian raises over £700 for Children's Air Ambulance
At a time when most young people would be focusing on celebrating their 13th birthday, Kristian Smith was thinking about how he could help other children.
The youngster, from Woodlands, has raised over £700 for the Children's Air Ambulance by dedicating the last few months to organising various fundraising events, such as a tombola and a raffle, a cake sale and a ‘guess the name of the teddy’ event.
He also set up on online JustGiving donation page to enable anybody who wished to support him to be able to do so.
The Children’s Air Ambulance fly critically ill babies and children in-between hospitals so that they can get the specialist treatment they urgently need as soon as possible.
Kristian, who is a year 8 pupil at XP East school, Middle Bank, was inspired to begin his fundraising by his niece, seven-year-old Chloe Hadley, who had already been making money for the good cause.
Kristian’s proud mum Sue said: “Chloe told us about the fundraising she was doing as part of an initiative called ‘The Crew’. This was started by two girls who are the children of pilots for the Children's Air Ambulance.
“It is where children can decide for themselves what they would like to do to raise funds for the Children's Air Ambulance and, with help, carry out their ideas. Chloe has raised several hundred pounds.
“Kristian was impressed with Chloe's efforts and also as the charity is called The Crew he was interested because his school classes are called crews rather than classes. So, I sent off for a pack to see if it was something he could do.
“He decided on doing a raffle at school and a tombola out of school at Armthorpe Fair.”
In total, Kristian raised £705.15. His achievement is made all the more remarkable by the fact that he has two health conditions that mean engaging with new people can be difficult for him.
Sue said: “Kristian has high functioning autism, so he can be very organised and determined. But he can also get flustered talking to people and can set everything up but then struggle to execute his plans. He can also sometimes have anxiety.
“Asking people for raffle prizes was a struggle for him but we did it between us. The tombola proved difficult and stressful for him due to his need to put the tickets onto the prizes 'just so' and the prizes to be put out on the table 'just right'.
“When we got set up, however, he proved to be a great little sales man when the fair got underway. He sold raffle tickets at a school market and I sold some in lunchtime at school. The office staff ended up helping to draw the raffle due to his anxiety on the day.
“I’m so very proud of him for what he has done. The amount he raised was amazing and I think he did a terrific job. I’m also very proud of Chloe for all the money she has raised too.
“It’s lovely to see children doing something to help other children.”
Prizes for Kristian’s raffle and tombola came from local shops, family and friends. They included vouchers for toys, fancy dress, clothing and tins of sweets.
As well as raising money for the Children’s Air Ambulance, Kristian also went to visit the good causes’ new charity superstore, The Hanger, before it opened to help the staff there to sort out some of the donations they had received, which Sue said he enjoyed.
The Hanger is a department store and cafe which stocks both new and pre-loved products. They have furniture, home, cook, pets, clothing, toys and much much more.
Sue added: “Kristian was really excited each time he saw his JustGiving total going up and he loved counting up the money he made at the tombola and raffle. His final total was added up after the raffle and he was amazed that it was over £700. He says he is very proud of himself.”
Posting on Facebook, a spokesman for the Children’s Air Ambulance, said: “A massive shout out to Kristian Smith, a member of The Crew who raised an amazing £705.15. This amazing sum of money goes such a long way in helping us deliver our service. Your an inspiration. Keep up the great work.”
The Hanger charity shop can be found at Unit 1A, Thorne Road Retail Park. It is open Monday 9am to 6pm, Tuesday to Thursday 9am to 8pm, Friday and Saturday 9am to 6pm and Sunday 10am to 4pm.
Kristian is pictured right with his niece Chloe, below left with his mum Sue and also below right helping a customer at his raffle table.
If you know any young fundraisers who maybe interested in helping raise funds for the Children’s Air Ambulance themselves, please go online and visit theairambulanceservice.org.uk.