A big-hearted Mansfield Woodhouse schoolboy has become one of the youngest fundraisers in the country to help limbless ex-servicemen.
Toby Gartland may only be seven, but he has pulled out all the stops to raise more than £135 for injured soldiers.
Inspired by the poppy installation at the Tower of London, Northfield Primary and Nursery School pupil Toby put forward the idea of planting poppies on the school grounds and then took it upon himself to raise money for Blesma by doing odd jobs such as washing cars, gardening, path-brushing, vacuuming and looking after a friend’s plant after school.
By collecting donations for the chores he carried out, Toby has raised £135 for Blesma which will help the charity support injured service personnel to lead independent and fulfilling lives.
Toby presented a cheque for £135 to Blesma Support Officer and member Charley Streather in a special assembly held on Wednesday 25th February.
He said: “Blesma is a kind of place that helps people with injuries from the war and someone called Charley came to school and explained about Blesma to us all. He used to be a soldier but one of his limbs was broken so now he works in Blesma.”
Charley said: “The assembly was a lovely occasion and it was fantastic to be able to receive a cheque from Toby who has clearly engaged with charitable causes and his community at a young age. On behalf of Blesma I’d like to thank him for all his efforts.”
Julie Jenkins, Head Teacher at Northfield said: As a school we are extremely proud of Toby for his fundraising efforts.
“He showed great initiative and giving up his own time is truly commendable. Toby is a credit to the school.”
Blesma is the national charity for limbless service men and women, their widows and dependants.