'Helping people who are sad' - Alba, 6, stepping out to raise money for Samaritans
A six-year-old girl is raising money and spreading positivity by walking for a charity close to her heart.
Alba Stogden, 6, will be walking 310,000 steps over the course of March to raise money for emotional support charity, Samaritans.
To prepare for her walk, Alba has been out in the community with her mum, Sophie, spreading positivity by litter picking and leaving daffodil bouquets with Samaritans details enclosed on park benches near her home in Nevison.
The youngster is hoping to collect as many sponsors as possible in preparation for her first walk on Monday March 1, and has since raised just under £900.
Sophie said: “Alba wanted to litter pick anyway, so the walk for the Samaritans went hand in hand with that.
“She’s always complaining about the litter people leave when we go out on walks, so I bought her a litter picker - since then we’ve shifted around 50 bags worth of rubbish.
“It wasn’t long ago I saw Samaritans 310,000 Steps in March challenge on social media, and I asked Alba if she wanted to take part and she said she’d like to.
“We’re quite open about mental health in our house, so for her it’s second hand - my partner has suffered with his mental health so it’s not taboo for Alba.
“She’s quite aware that the Samaritans help people ‘who are sad’ in Alba’s words - and she wants to do her bit to help them.”
Equipped with a new wristband for tracking her steps, Alba will be walking every day in March with her mum.
Sponsors can keep up to date with her progress via her Facebook page, ‘Alba's adventures- Journey through home education’, which is being administered by Sophie.
One generous donation of £200 came from Pontefract business, Panda IT Solutions.
Sophie said: “She’s just a very sensitive, empathetic little girl who feels everything and often struggles with her own anxiety.
“Me and my partner have to try and facilitate whatever she needs from us, so we can help her be herself and give her the motivation to follow these amazing, creative ideas that are in her head.
“For example, she wanted to draw a picture for every person who donated to say thank you - but there’s been so many, we’re so grateful and overwhelmed.
“So instead, I took a video of Alba saying thank you in her own words addressed to everyone who donated and I posted it on her Facebook page.
“It’s a ripple effect, she’s made so many people in the community smile with all these acts of kindness and we’re massively proud of her.”
To donate to Alba's fundraiser, click this link