Selfless Alicia donates gifts to help others

Alicia Burgess.
Alicia Burgess.

Inspired by an assembly on helping countries to break free from poverty, a Ribble Valley schoolgirl came up with an idea she hoped would help.

Alicia Burgess (8), who attends St Mary’s Hall, Stonyhurst College, has donated all of her birthday money to support people in developing countries to help themselves – by building a greenhouse.

After hearing about CAFOD’s work in an assembly at school, Alicia quickly came up with the forward-thinking idea.

At a cost of £56, the greenhouse was an expensive option for an eight-year-old, but Alicia wasn’t put off in the slightest, even when she was aware that the purchase, made through CAFOD’s World Gifts scheme, would take up all of her birthday money.

She said: “I can wait until Christmas and I know these children will really benefit from a greenhouse to grow seeds.”

CAFOD is celebrating twelve years of World Gifts, which were established to help make a difference to people living in poverty. The scheme has raised more than £12 million, enabling thousands of presents to be brought by CAFOD supporters including 103,000 school starter kits, 46,000 goats, 38,000 chickens and 3,000 queen bees. Last year alone, communities in England and Wales taught more than 4,000 children to read through fundraising by the World Gifts scheme.

A new gift option launched by CAFOD this year is Trees for Life. This scheme will supply a family with five fruit tree saplings, along with the tools and training to produce their own tree nursery.

When Trees for life are gifted to an overseas community, the charity will send a spruce seed Christmas decoration to the fundraising community that they can plant to grow their own trees. The charity are hoping to plant 10,000 seeds both in UK and overseas.

Clitheroe’s CAFOD representative Ann Wilson, said: “We are so grateful to Alicia for donating her birthday money to provide meaningful gifts that will make a huge difference and help transform lives this Christmas.”