Holly, 5, celebrates birthday with fundraiser

Holly, with mum Ellen Monteith, has vowed to raise cash for the poor. Picture: Jon Savage

Holly, with mum Ellen Monteith, has vowed to raise cash for the poor. Picture: Jon Savage

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MOST little girls approaching their sixth birthday would be excited about getting the latest toys and having a party with their friends.

But community-minded Holly Monteith is bucking that trend.

Holly, a primary one pupil at Prestonpans Infant School, surprised her mum, Ellen, by announcing that she did not want any birthday presents.

Instead of a party, the kind-hearted youngster wants to raise money for children who are not as fortunate as her.

Holly has been working with her mum to organise a fun day at the local community centre in aid of two charities.

Ms Monteith, a support worker, said she was taken aback when the five-year-old said she would prefer to help others than receive birthday treats.

She said she thought the idea stemmed from charity adverts Holly had seen on television.

Ms Monteith said: “It plays on her mind. She never forgets anything. I left it for a couple of days, because you know what kids are like. But she said she wanted to give money to ‘poor people’.”

She added: “Although she’s not wanting a birthday I still want to make it as special as possible for her.

“Holly is quite an easy child to please. She’s not one for wanting this or that. There’s nothing I can really say that she is really after.

“If you gave her a colouring book and pens, she would think it was the world – and it’s not because she is deprived.”

After researching charities online, Holly and her mum opted for Mary’s Meals, a global movement which sets up school feeding projects in some of the world’s poorest communities, because Holly liked the idea of helping young people in their education.

Holly also chose Children 1st because it was based in Scotland and supports children facing a variety of difficulties.

Holly’s sister, Emma, 21, and aunts Jolene, who lives next door, and Elaine, who is based in Tranent, are also supporting her.

“Emma is really proud of her,” said Ms Monteith. “She and my sisters are all right behind her and want to help out.

She added: “She is a very strong-minded little girl.

“For her to come up with that herself, I thought it was a lovely thing. She’s quite a caring wee girl.”

Holly’s charity event at Prestonpans Community Centre, which will feature a disco, DJ, bouncy castle and craft stalls, will be held on Saturday, May 17 from 11am to 4pm.

Favourite girly gifts

AMONG the most popular gifts for six-year-old girls are the Flutterbye flying fairy, the Furby Boom, below, and the Furreal Friend toy cat.

The girlie Lego Friends set is also sought-after, as are balance bikes and scooters.

Many young girls have Ever After High dolls or Sofia the First, a new Disney princess figurine, on their lists. Holly said: “I want to help people. My whole class is going to come along.”