Haverhill youngster’s year of charity

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A year is a long time in politics, but for one Haverhill youngster, it’s 12 opportunities to raise money for charity.

Joni André, 9, has set herself the challenge of raising money for charity with one fund-raising activity per month throughout 2015.

Joni will be raising money for EACH, the East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices, a group that supports babies, children and young people up to the age of 18 with life threatening conditions.

“I just thought I wanted to do something that would help somebody,” said Joni. “I was watching the news on TV one day and there were people on who had raised more than £1million for charity.

“There are so many people doing good things, I just wanted to be like them.

“I called a family meeting over Christmas and said I wanted to raise money for charity. I chose EACH because I’m a child and I want to help other children.”

Joni’s first move was to set up an account on fund raising website, Just Giving.com.

She spent January planning some events for the year and, last week, fund raising got underway with a Valentine’s Day stall at Burton End Primary Academy on February 13.

Joni sold candles, wooden hearts, biscuits and lollipops at the after-school sale, raising £59.15 in the process.

“The lollipops sold the best,” said Joni. “It’s been fun, I’ve really enjoyed it.”

Joni intends to follow this up with a Mothers’ Day sale in March and, after that, she’ll take part in a fun-run prior to the Haver10 in April.

Joni is also planning a 10 mile sponsored bike ride around Haverhill and Sturmer.

Joni’s father, Jason André, was delighted with his daughter’s motivation

“When she called the family meeting over Christmas, we were terrified,” he said. “We thought we’d done something wrong.

“We’re very proud she’s doing it. It’s all off her own back. We’ll do as much as we can to support her, she’s working very hard.”

Joni’s mother, Diana André said: “We’re very proud of her, it’s a great thing that she’s doing.”

People can support Joni’s fund raising efforts, or check for details of upcoming events, on her Just Giving page, www.justgiving.com/jonieach/