Big-hearted James, 16, vows to help the homeless

James Maddern
James Maddern

A teenager has vowed to highlight the plight of London’s homeless people in the run-up to the festive period.

James Maddern, 16, of Nash Mills, Hemel Hempstead, is on a mission to raise £500 to buy blankets, hot food and drink for people living on the streets.

So far he has raised more than £300 towards the cause and set up a blog and Facebook page for his project, which he has named Food For Futures.

The teenager, who is going to the capital on December 19, said: “I’ve been passionate about helping people for ages but have never had the guts or cash to do something on this scale until now.

“Since starting to visit London regularly in recent months I’ve seen the condition of some of London’s poorest and frankly, seeing people who may or may not eat for the next few days has spurred me into action.”

His plan for December 19 is to travel into London and walk around the city seeking out homeless people.

He will buy them food, drink, sleeping bags and warm clothing before sitting with them for a chat and running a blog about the challenges these people face.

James’ mum Jan said: “This was entirely James’s idea from start to finish. The first we knew was when the idea was presented to us as a fait accompli and we couldn’t be more proud.”

James is building up a team of volunteers to help on the night, and has spoken out on several local radio shows.

Complete Outdoors in Bourne End have offered to donate some sleeping bags and the St Paul’s branch of EAT says it will take care of food donations.

Search Facebook for ‘Food for Futures’ or visit www.foodforfutures.com