Inspiring Britain: Six-year-old's mission to keep the homeless warm at Christmas

Frankie hands out a present. Credit: ITV News
  • Video report by ITV News Reporter Ivor Bennett

The year of 2017 has been a dark one for news – dominated by terror attacks, uncertainty in world politics and natural disasters, so ITV News has decided it is time to shine a light on some good news, telling the stories of inspirational people in communities across the country.

For one six-year-old boy in London, Christmas is about giving, not receiving.

Frankie Hill is raising money to buy hats, scarves and gloves for anyone rough sleeping in the cold.

The east London schoolboy has far surpassed his initial target of £250, raising more than £6,000 in just two weeks.

Frankie has been so successful that he has now upped his target to £10,000, and has already wrapped up 50 sets of woolly hats, scarves, gloves, and also chocolates, and handed many of them out to rough sleepers near his home so that they are not "hungry and cold".

Frankie's mum, Jane Brooks, explained that the youngster was inspired to act after feeling sad that some people are homeless on Christmas Day, as in his own words "they have to live all on their own".

Frankie said he was inspired to act because he felt 'sad' that some people would be homeless at Christmas. Credit: ITV News

Writing on his Just Giving page - Keep Warm With Frankie - the year two pupil explained why he was inspired to act: "Christmas is a very fun time for me and my family.

"We all get to spend time together in our warm homes, sharing food and gifts.

"It makes me feel sad that some people don't get to do the same as me.

"Some people live on the streets, all alone and in the freezing cold.

"I would like to help keep them warm this winter and have created this fundraising page (with the help of my family) so that I can raise enough money to afford some hats, scarfs, and gloves.

"When I have reached my target, I will go to the shops to buy the items and then I will hand them out to anyone who needs them.

"I will upload photos along my journey for everyone to see, and I really appreciate your donations.

"Thank you."

Frankie wrapped up the hats, scarves and gloves and then handed them out to the homeless. Credit: JustGiving/Frankie Hill

"I've never seen anything like this," James, a homeless man who Frankie gave a gift to while handing out presents in east London.

"Christmas has come early... It's touching and so nice. It's just amazing... Thank you, thank you very much."

James said he had 'never seen anything like' Frankie's handing out of Christmas presents. Credit: ITV News

Ms Brooks praised her son who she said she was "really proud, really, really proud" of her son "who wants to be helping people" which "is really quite something".

She continued that she wanted her son to remain as "caring" as he is now, when he grows up, and hopes that he stays "passionate" about helping others.

She added that she wanted Frankie to learn from his experiences that Christmas "isn't just about him and what he gets, he needs to consider that there are a lot of people out there who are struggling".

Jane Brooks hopes her son will always stay as 'caring' as he is now. Credit: ITV News

Frankie's actions "make you feel like you're doing a good job raising him", his stepdad, Stephan Brooks explained.

He continued that one of the best parts of Frankie's project was seeing "the guys who are really happy and touched by it".

Frankie celebrates with some of his purchases. Credit: JustGiving/Frankie Hill

Frankie's presents are not just for Christmas, with the schoolboy intending to keep his project going throughout the winter.