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Thatcham boy launches appeal to help district's homeless

Togs and Tents asking for items before winter hits

John Herring

John Herring


01635 886633

Thatcham boy launches appeal to help district's homeless

A KIND-hearted boy from Thatcham has started his own appeal to help homeless people in West Berkshire. 

Cohen Roberts was so moved by scenes of homeless people on a family trip to London that he wanted to help people less fortunate than himself. 

His mother Alaina Roberts said: “He started seeing a few homeless people on the streets.

“It’s not something he had seen a lot of. He started asking me questions and I said that people become homeless for all sorts of reasons.

“One man had a really thin blanket and it really stuck with him and he really wanted to help. He was quite concerned about winter and being out there in the freezing cold. 

“I thought ‘what can I do to encourage this rather than leave it as a floating statement that goes away?’.” 

The family contacted Loose Ends, a Newbury charity that feeds and clothes homeless and vulnerable people, to find out how they could help. 

Cohen has formed Togs and Tents to collect sleeping bags, small tents and winter clothing for those in need.

The Francis Baily Primary School pupil spoke to classmates and teachers about his appeal.

And, after a word with headteacher Chris Davis, the school has become a donation point. 

Thatcham United Reformed Church and Thatcham Town Council have been added to the list and the family has approached Newbury Town Council for its support. 

Nelson’s Diner in the Kennet Shopping centre has agreed to promote the appeal by having posters in the restaurant.  

Mrs Roberts said her son was nervous about speaking in front of people but his passion for the appeal had made it easier to get the message across, adding that he had been asking people if they would set up a donation point. 

She said: “I think it’s brilliant.

“Everyone we have spoken to has been really impressed that he’s been out there doing something about it.

“We are really proud of him.” 

And Cohen’s generosity has rubbed off on his younger sister Serin, who has been helping put up posters and collect donations. 

The family aims to deliver all donations to Loose Ends in the lead up to Christmas.

Search for Togs and Tents on Facebook to find out more or head to one of the donation points to help. 

The name Togs incorporates clothes and a unit of thermal resistance for the insulating properties of clothes. 

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