A SEVEN-year-old boy is aiming to “spread some love” this Christmas by helping others in need.

Richard Wood, who lives in Malton, is collecting a range of essential items and treats to create 80 care boxes to distribute to the homeless.

His mum Karen Wasikowski said Richard had seen a programme on television which mentioned the homeless in America.

“Richard declared that he wanted to go help them, but when I explained that there are homeless people in the UK, he couldn’t believe it and said he wanted to help those less fortunate at Christmas,” she said.

Richard’s Christmas Wish is collecting items to create 80 care packaged which will be delivered on Christmas Eve to Changing Lives, which provide hostel accommodation in York for the homeless and Foundation UK which supports 16 to 25 year olds who are homeless or at the risk of homelessness in Scarborough.

Karen said: “I’ve set up a Facebook page to promote what we are doing and what we are hoping to collect in.

“Coronavirus hasn’t helped as businesses that were willing to hold a collection point had to withdraw due to lockdown two. However, three collection point have been set up at our home, in Coneysthorpe, and one in Norton, where people can drop donations off at these locations or post them.”

Karen added: “We have had so much support from the local community, which has really come together.

“Richard’s school friends at St Mary’s RC School in Malton are also creating letters and Christmas cards to put into each care package.”

Among the items Richard is collecting are wipes, deodorant, masks, socks, gloves, personal care products, and treats such as chocolate and snacks.

Karen said: “We know these times are especially hard and the smallest of donation will make such a difference to someone in need.

“We have parcels arriving from as far as Somerset and the Shetland Isles which is amazing.”

In recognition of his efforts Richard has been awarded the head teacher award and star worker award of his class at St Mary’s.

“When he was interviewed on the radio and asked why he wanted to do this, his reply was to become a better person. All of our hearts melted,” Karen added.

“We are all so very proud of him. He’s a little super star.”

Richard’s dad, Steve Wood, said: “We are all immensely proud of him when most children are thinking about what they want, Richard cares not about that and just wants to help others.

“He is a beacon of light shining bright amongst the darkness of what has been a challenging year for all.”

The charity Changing Lives offers year-round support to people who are experiencing tough times, including those experiencing a period of homelessness, addiction, spending Christmas in prison, or living in abusive or exploitative situations.

Foundation UK supports individuals and families affected by homeless or at risk of homelessness, leaving prison or on probation, leaving care and domestic abuse.

Richard will be collecting items for the two charities up to December 18.

The collection points are 19 Ryngwoode Drive, Malton; 6 Cornlands in Norton and 3 Reading Room Row, Coneysthorpe. Karen can also be contacted on 07714 282386.