Edinburgh boy, 9, helps dementia sufferers with Christmas hamper appeal

Most nine-year-olds usually cannot contain their excitement for Christmas Day as they eagerly anticipate opening their presents.

Thursday, 13th December 2018, 11:57 am
Updated Thursday, 13th December 2018, 12:05 pm
Resident Anne Bussel received a small hamper from Aaron. Pic: Neil Hanna Photography

Instead, P5 pupil Aaron Williams set his sights on how he can help spread happiness this Christmas.

The East Craigs pupil decided back in September that he wanted to make a difference to others this festive season and came up with the idea to set up a hamper appeal for those living with dementia.

Off his own back he started asking friends and parents at his school for help and his vision began to take off.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The Guide Group based at East Craigs Church Centre also got on board with the idea as donations began flooding in from the local 

Despite youngsters’ minds being fixated on getting gifts such as Fortnite or Lego, Aaron was determined to see his plan through and spent countless hours after school and on weekends to make others smile.

A wide range of donated items including socks, toiletries, cosmetics and sweets were included within four large hampers and 41 individual hampers to cater for all the residents at Drumbrae Care Home.

Aaron turned into Santa on Christmas Eve when he popped into the care home to deliver the 41 packages as a surprise to the elderly residents, who were overjoyed with his 

Aaron said: “I did this to make someone happy this Christmas. Not everyone has family or friends to make them happy.

“I spent hours and hours collecting, sorting and asking people to help me get enough for 41 residents.

“I love helping people because it makes me feel good inside. It’s really good when they have a huge smile and thank me.

“The elderly were so happy – they were really happy, thanked me lots of times and even gave me a present.

“I love to help people. I even help the old neighbours. When it snows I go and get them shopping so they don’t fall outside and hurt and cry.”

The youngster has earned high praise for his thoughtful scheme and no one is prouder of him than his mum, 

She told the Evening News: “Aaron had seen a lot of TV appeals and decided he wanted to make people very happy.

“It was all his idea and he spoke to some of his classmates and their parents and managed to get more donations.

“I was very touched when Aaron told me what he wanted to do.

“Initially I thought he was going to help our elderly neighbours but he had other bigger ideas.

“He is such a caring and compassionate boy and I was so impressed at how the community got behind him.

“When he saw the looks on the residents’ faces he had tears in his eyes. He just looked completely overwhelmed by it all because he knew he’d made all these people so happy.

“I am so proud of what he has achieved. He has put a lot of time into making these hampers and the residents looked delighted.

“It is great too because youngsters in the area don’t get a great reputation so this is showing something very positive.”

The hampers were gratefully received by the care home residents who were delighted to see him dressed up as Santa.

Karen Wright, manager at Drumbrae Care Home, said: “This was a wonderful generous gesture which was greatly appreciated by all Drumbrae residents as well as the people who care for them.

“Aaron is a very caring young man who has put a lot of time into preparing these gifts.

“The residents are delighted with their presents with some of them getting emotional. They also loved having the children coming into see them at the care home.”

The Evening News has teamed up with Tesco, Network Rail, Hibs, Hearts, NHS Lothian and the Scottish Government this year to run our Edinburgh Cheer Christmas campaign – aiming to make the city and the Lothians the “Capital of Kindness”.

Whether it’s inviting someone to lunch or donating items to your local foodbank, the 
campaign pledges are designed to show how easily we can all give something back.