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Schoolboy supporter raises whopping total for needy pets

Schoolboy Joe Newton accepts a cheque for Blue Cross

A young Blue Cross supporter has raised £396 for pets in need after calling on his local supermarket for help.

Nine-year-old Joe Newton wrote to Waitrose in support of the pet charity after researching Blue Cross for his homework.

Joe says: “I nominated Blue Cross because I don't think any animal should be sick.”

Joe asked his aunt, Naomi Orrey, a Blue Cross Legacy Officer, which charity she worked for. When he heard the answer he visited the charity’s website and did lots of research to find out all about our work.

He used the information he discovered to write a letter in perfect joined-up handwriting to Waitrose, which explained why he thought Blue Cross should be its charity of the month.

The supermarket asks its shoppers to nominate good causes and then encourages customers to place a green token in the box of the organisation they’d most like to support through its Community Matters scheme. Each Waitrose branch then splits £1,000 of profit between the charities based on the number of votes.

Rachel Green, Partner Coordination Manager at Waitrose in Wantage, Oxfordshire, says she gets hundreds of letters from children and adults asking for support for all sorts of charities, but that she chose Blue Cross because Joe’s letter really stood out.

The total amount of money Joe raised was way beyond his expectations.

Joe says: “I was really pleased that I helped raise some money and thought the total might be about £40, so when I found out it was £369 I was really pleased!”

Rachel invited Joe to the Wantage store so she could present him and Blue Cross with a cheque to show how much his hard work had paid off.

Blue Cross Events Officer Heather Collin attended too, with Labradors Smudge and Daisy, who are now both enjoying life in happy new homes, made possible thanks to kind and generous Blue Cross supporters.

Heather says: “When I met Joe he was beaming with pride that as a result of his letter he had raised so much for the pets in our care, especially as he raised almost 10 times more than he had predicted!”

We’d like to say a huge thank you to Joe and Waitrose for helping us to make sure our doors are always open to sick, injured and homeless pets.

— Page last updated 29/05/2015