Every day at school 11 year old Jessica collects crisp packets to turn into foil blankets to give to people sleeping rough. The Tuckswood Academy student was inspired by a charity video she watched in class. “I turned to my friend and said, ‘we should do something like this!’ I looked up on my phone how to do it and started asking my friends to give me their crisp packets.” Jessica carefully washes and dries the packets and irons them to fix them together. The end result is a surprisingly robust, waterproof insulating blanket – it is a good method of recycling too.
Jessica lives in Tuckswood along with her two siblings and her parents. Her mum Heidi is delighted about Jessica’s passion to do something to help. “It’s given her a focus and helps keep away from her phone, which I think is fantastic!” Heidi, who has seen first-hand the impact of homelessness upon people close to her said “I’m all for this. I’ve very proud of her.”
In addition to the crisp packet blankets, Jessica had the idea of creating care packages to give to people experiencing homelessness. Jessica created a list of items, including pens, notebooks, toiletries, plasters and intends to use the money raised on her online fundraising page to buy the items and donate the money left over to St Martins. She will work alongside the team at the charity’s Donation Station to pack the items and find out what is most needed.
She has been taken aback by some of the negative responses she has had from people who believe homelessness is a choice and people affected should ‘just get a job’. At the tender age of 11 Jessica has developed a mature social conscience and awareness of people less fortunate than herself. She said, “I’m determined to keep going.”
You can support Jessica by donating to her fundraising page: