10yr old Owen Garton had big plans for the May Bank Holiday. He was going to sell his toys to raise money for Treetops at their Car Boot Sale, but his simple act of kindness is now on hold.

Owen, from Risley, was inspired to help the local hospice through his school’s Endeavour Award. He explained more:

I thought I could turn them back into money that could be put to good use by the charity

“I wanted to sell all of my toys that I don’t use and that I have really looked after.  I have loads of Lego sets, toy cars, teddies, animal figures, board games, books and collectible cards. I really thought some other children would enjoy these as they bought me a lot of fun.

“They’re in very good condition and rather than throw them away, I thought I could turn them back into money that could be put to good use by the charity. I love the village that I live in and Treetops are a big part of it.

Owen was planning to split his proceeds between Treetops and the World Wildlife Fund as his main interest is animals. He also enjoys reading, listening to music and playing sports.

They really do some great work for people who are struggling

“I wasn’t exactly sure how much I would raise but I was hoping for a few hundred pounds. I might have sold some of mum’s stuff from around the house too, things that she didn’t want.  I know she has ornaments stuffed in the cupboards that I could sell.

“I feel kind of sad now the Car Boot Sale has been cancelled as I think I would have made quite a bit of money to donate. I think it would have been fun for me to run my own stall and I hope I get to do it in the future as I want Treetops to always be there. They really do some great work for people who are struggling.”

I thought it was a brilliant idea

Owen’s mum, Abi, 40, is incredibly proud of her son:

“Owen is just a delight. He’s a very bubbly, upbeat boy who is very enthusiastic.  He is one of life’s talkers and enjoys to converse with everyone, young or old.

“This idea was typical for him – he’s keen to help wherever he can and doesn’t mind getting stuck into a job. I thought it was a brilliant idea. Not only would it be a valuable experience for Owen, but he’d be able to raise money in the process.

“I feel so sad for him as he was really wanting to help raise money. I’m also very concerned for Treetops now, as we know how much the hospice relies on raising funds to operate. It’s a worrying time.

I’m aware how essential Treetops is to our community, bringing us together

“Treetops is a central point in our village and has been for many, many years. I know they are an important service for people who have life limiting illnesses, and with the Coronavirus pandemic, the charity is needed more than ever.

“I’m also aware how essential Treetops is to our community, bringing us together with all the events they organise. They are so popular and appeal to all family members.”

Lorraine Ray, Treetops events fundraising lead said:

“Having to cancel the Car Boot Sale alongside many other fundraising events has been a very difficult decision for Treetops but necessary in the current situation. We’re so disappointed for Owen and all our regular Car Boot Sale fans.

“We want to say huge thanks to Owen for his amazing offer of support. We will definitely be planning more Sales in the future and we look forward to welcoming him then – we know his stall will prove to be very popular!”

Treetops is doing all it can to continue to support those in most need during the Coronavirus pandemic. However the charity predicts a huge £1.4m loss in income in the coming months, due to the temporary closure of all their charity shops, and postponement or cancellation of many fundraising events, including the popular Car Boot Sales.

An Emergency Appeal has been launched and the hospice is asking for donations to ensure they can continue to provide Hospice at Home end-of-life nursing care throughout the pandemic. Donations can be made online here.

Treetops services include Support and Information, Wellbeing Space, Hospice at Home nurses and Therapeutic Services including counselling, art therapy and complementary therapy.