Eleven-year-old Tom gives up presents to raise funds

Eleven-year-old Tom Ashmore recently chose to forego birthday presents in favour of donations to Prospect Hospice.

Tom, who is currently in year six at primary school and studying for his SATs, asked his family and friends to donate the money they would have spent on presents in support of Prospect Hospice. Tom’s uncle was cared for at the hospice, and he remembers coming to visit him.

With an initial target of £50, Tom was surprised to find he had exceeded his goal by raising a total of £190. The donations not only came from friends and family, but also from people he’d never met. “I found it so encouraging,” said Tom. “So many people have been so kind and supported me.

“Choosing to give up presents wasn’t easy, but I’m really happy with how much I’ve raised. Thank you to everyone who donated!”

Tom wrote letters to his sponsors, thanking them for helping him to exceed his fundraising target, and enjoyed his birthday by having a sleepover with his best friends. Tom’s younger brother, Jack, who is seven, now wants to follow his brother’s example and donate his birthday gift money to charity too.

Tom's mum, Iryada, said: "I am very proud of Tom for his selflessness. I think doing this has made him feel very happy and rather grown up too."

Hollie Ricketts, Community Fundraiser at the hospice, said: "It was wonderful to be able to invite Tom and his mum Iryada to the hospice to celebrate the brilliant amount that he has raised in lieu of gifts for his recent birthday. I've been blown away by his kindness and generosity - it's inspiring to see someone who, at such a young age, is determined to support a local charity. Thank you so much to Tom, his family and his friends for supporting Prospect Hospice."