Hertfordshire resident kickstarts charitable donations to create sweet treat packages for underprivileged children this Christmas.
Hertford administrator Tony Cole, 24, has been collecting donations of sweets, chocolates, advent calendars and hot chocolate bundles to give to children in families who rely on food banks.
Working with Hertford Community food bank, Stevenage Community food bank and Food Shed, he aims to bring joy this festive season.
After the success of the Marcus Rashford campaign over the half term holiday, Tony began to think about ways he could make a difference.
He said: “I found myself really annoyed with the government; I’ve never felt like that before.
“What is there to do to help children that hasn’t already been done?
“My mission is to give children what I had growing up in a fortunate family.”
He started a Facebook page called The Children’s Sweet Bank which has been well received in Hertfordshire.
The page is filled with locals gifting a variety of confectionary and even offering to drive to collect donations.
People are wanting to help Tony in any way they can.
Initially the goal was to create 550 sweetie cones and 550 hot chocolate and marshmallow cones, to which he said: “I really quickly realised I had been avalanched with donations.
“I can’t get my head around how generous and kind people have been in these tough times.
“People are giving, and it blows my mind.”
And the response has been so large, Tony has had to turn his home office into a stock room.
He has now made 800 parcels.
Local businesses have also been raising awareness of the cause.
Tracy Pickersgill, the creator of Tilly & Teddy Sweet Cart Hire, said: “I wanted to do something for the local community this Christmas with everything that’s been going on this year and when I found out about the Children’s Sweet Ba nk Hertfordshire it seemed like a great fit with my little sweet cart business.
“Each Christmas I offer Christmas tree sweet filled baubles and I am pleased to be able to donate £1 from each sale this year to this cause.”
Many contributors wanted to leave cash tips, which lead to the creation of a Just Giving page which has now raised over £500.
This money will be shared across the three food banks he is working with to provide necessities for those in need.
With the current success, he is prolonging the campaign to run all year round to ensure the children are treated for all twelve months, not just over the holidays.
He said: “Imagine the frustration of parents who are unable to provide these things.
“More often than not, children are overlooked in the food bank system.”