15th March 2021 — Two schoolchildren worried about the plight of homeless people on the streets during the pandemic raised hundreds of pounds for Shelter in the half term by baking.
Sophie (11) and Sam (8) Bannister were upset to realise the homeless were severely disadvantaged as a result of the pandemic as fewer people were around to help them and were less likely to carry cash to give to them.
So the two Lewes Old Grammar Junior School pupils set about baking cakes for neighbours and asking for donations towards Shelter in payment; they hoped to raise around £70 but ended up with a whopping £638.
Mum Helen said: "Sophie and Sam have both enjoyed cooking and baking since they were tiny, and over the lockdowns have both noticed an increase in the number of homeless people in Lewes.
"They came up with this idea as a way to raise money for something they both care about while doing something they enjoy."
She continued: "There were some lovely reactions from neighbours – everyone was so supportive and ordered a lot of cake!"
"I am enormously proud of them."
Sophie and Sam whipped up 33 squares of chocolate cake, four Victoria sponges, 30 chocolate biscuits, and a chocolate birthday cake.
Neighbours put their requests in via their street's Whatsapp group and Sam delivered them – running up and down the street to 21 different doorsteps.
Sophie commented: "We chose Shelter because we know homeless people are suffering more during Covid as people don’t have loose change to hand over as everyone uses cards
On top of that, more and more people are losing their jobs and becoming homeless."
Sam added: "When we go out we see homeless people almost always and by helping Shelter I thought we would help there to be fewer of them."
Lewes Old Grammar Junior School headmistress Carrie Whyte said: "Sophie and Sam stopped and noticed the lives of other people and decided to take action.
"That sort of kindness and compassion makes teaching children such a pleasure.
"We are inordinately proud of them."