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Thatcham boy's efforts to help the homeless go cross-county

Nine-year-old's Togs and Tents widens its appeal

Thatcham boy's efforts to help the homeless go cross-county

AN appeal created by a Thatcham boy to help homeless people in West Berkshire has been boosted following a cross-border partnership.

Nine-year-old Cohen Roberts launched Togs and Tents last month after being shocked by the number of homeless people living on the streets during a family trip to London. 

He said that one man, clad in a very thin blanket on such a cold day, motivated him to help.

He said: “I was really sad to see so many people without a home.

“They were just sleeping on the freezing cold floor and some didn’t even have any covers.

“My mum told me that people can become homeless for all sorts of reasons.

“I couldn’t stop thinking about how unhappy I would be if I was them, so I decided to help.”

Following help from his mother Alaina, Cohen is asking for people to donate much-needed winter clothing, sleeping bags and tents for him to deliver to local homeless charities.

Donations have been pouring in at donation points in Thatcham and the appeal has now spread to neighbouring Hampshire. 

GO Outdoors, Basingstoke, has now been added to the list of collection points for donations.

The outdoor specialist is showing support by offering a 10 per cent discount on clothing to anyone who donates winter clothing, outdoor shoes, small tents or sleeping bags to the cause.

GO Outdoors regional manager Matt Robinson said: “It is an absolute pleasure to be a part of such an important cause and is great to see so much support for it.

“As the UK’s biggest outdoors stores, the partnership makes complete sense and we hope it encourages more and more people to get involved.

“At only nine-years-old, Cohen is an inspiration and we could all learn a thing or two from his generosity and determination to make a difference to other people’s lives.”

All donations will be passed on to the Camrose Centre in Basingstoke and Loose Ends charity in Newbury.

The Togs and Tents appeal is asking anyone interested in helping to take donations to any of the following locations: GO Outdoors Basingstoke, Thatcham Town Council Offices, Thatcham United Reformed Church and Francis Baily School.

More information can be found on the Togs and Tents Facebook page at 

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