Seven-year-old dons Santa hat to spread Christmas cheer and litter pick across community

Seven-year-old dons Santa hat to spread Christmas cheer and litter pick across community

A seven-year-old is raising money for the RSPCA and helping wildlife by taking on a litter pick challenge whilst wearing a Santa hat.

Elliott Larner who lives in South Ockendon in Essex has been collecting litter across his local community in order to protect wildlife from becoming entangled in discarded items and to raise money for the RSPCA.

The amazing animal lover first started picking up litter in the spring when he watched an episode of the children's TV show Blue Peter which showed how litter can be dangerous to animals. 

Elliott, who is a vegetarian and animal lover, was upset to learn how litter affects animals.

His mum, Laura Dorrington, said:

We talked about how he could help and I said I would message our local council to see if we could borrow some litter picking tools. They were brilliant and dropped them off at our house the next day and had a chat with Elliott to welcome him to the team and to tell him he's a hero!

We stopped in the autumn after it turned colder and wetter, but then his school announced a voluntary challenge called the Citizenship Award. They set the challenge for the kids to find a charity close to their heart to support and to be a good citizen. Elliott wanted to start litter picking again as it helps the whole community and helps protect wildlife from harm so we chose to do it for the RSPCA. He decided we should wear Santa hats while we are picking litter to help spread Christmas cheer throughout the community. We even sometimes hide the bin bag in a Santa sack too!

I got him a high vis jacket and he wrote 'RSPCA Christmas Superhero' on the back so everybody would know why he was doing it.

After sharing a few photos to her Facebook page, friends and family asked if they could donate to Elliott's cause and before long he had raised nearly £100.

The Dilkes Academy school pupil posted videos on TikTok to thank everyone for their generous donations, dressing up as Batman and Harry Potter to deliver the thank you message.

Since litter picking for the animal welfare charity since the end of November, Elliott has collected six full bin bags of rubbish from around South Ockendon.

Laura added:

Elliott usually picks up litter on the way home from school and at the weekends with me and his three-year-old brother Theo but as he is off school this week before Christmas, we decided to do a big litter pick near the shops where sadly there is an awful lot of litter and this week he collected a full bin bag from a half mile walk to the shops and back. Every time he finds a bit of plastic or a can he knows he is helping wildlife stay safe. I'm so incredibly proud of him.

This little man is going to make the world a better place!

Elliott was also announced as the winner of the Citizenship Award at his school, and was awarded a medal and a certificate.

To support Elliott and donate to the cause, Join our Christmas Rescue. If you've been inspired to take on your own challenge visit the website to become an RSPCA animal hero.