14-year-old resident uses pocket money to help homeless charity

01 April 2019

A big-hearted 14-year-old girl from Taunton has been using her pocket money to splash out on gifts for the homeless.

Imogen Thain was inspired to carry out the selfless deed after spotting homeless people bedded down on the streets. An inquisitive Imogen asked about supporting local homeless charity, Open Door.

Instead of using her pocket money to buy sweets, Imogen started to save her pennies to support a charity that relies solely on donations. She also bought sausage rolls and coffee to give to homeless people on the streets and recently donated a McDonald’s meal to a homeless man and his child last week. Imogen’s next plan is to buy and donate toiletries to those who need them most.

Imogen, who attends Taunton Academy, said: “I thought it would be a nice idea to raise money for a charity that helps people who are homeless. It is upsetting to think that people have to sleep on the streets so I wanted to do my bit to help them. Hopefully the items and money will help the people who need it more than I do.”

Imogen’s kind actions come as the Government make a pledge to end rough sleeping by 2027, with the aim of halving it by 2022.

The Rough Sleeping initiative - launched last year in rough sleeping initiative areas - has provided over 1,750 new bed spaces and 500 staff to support rough sleepers.

Statistics show that rough sleeping decreased by 19% in the last year.

Imogen’s proud mother, Amy, said: “Imogen has always been conscientious and came up with these ideas to help others herself, we are very proud of her. Getting involved with the community has made Imogen realise that she would like to go into social work as a career, she has even picked her GCSE’s based on this. The Dreamscheme has been so beneficial to the area and without this she may not have been given this opportunity.”

Imogen has made a huge impression on her community and is actively involved in Dreamscheme - a youth-led initiative for young people to improve local communities.

As part of the project, Imogen had a tour around the Open Door premises, prompting her to bake cakes which she handed out to residents. The joint project is run by Avon & Somerset police, in partnership with leading housing provider LiveWest, to improve the Massingham Park community.

LiveWest Community Connector Shona Stone said: “The young people here have invested their time to improve the immediate and wider communities through litter picking, gardening, fundraising, crises boxes and much more. The community have come together over the past few years and Imogen and her family have been an integral part of this. Imogen’s commitment and enthusiasm with getting involved with her local community has been inspirational. She has seen where she is able to help, and this has benefited her wider community. She is a force to be reckoned with.”