MINI marvel Archie Wright is the toast of his home town – after spreading some Christmas cheer by collecting donations for food banks.
The nine-year-old asked neighbours in Dalkeith and parents at Woodburn Primary for pound coins to fund much-needed supplies.
He took on the generous task as part of his Queen Margaret Children’s University course encouraging useful activities outside school.
“It made me feel good to do all this work,” said a beaming Archie. “I wanted to do it for the children’s university kindness thing.
“I did it with my family and couldn’t have done it without the help of the neighbourhood, staff and teachers at school.”
After collecting £120 from donors, Archie hit the shops with little sisters Mollie, seven, and five-year-old Ellie.
“We bought cans of vegetables, cereals and some soap and toothpaste – we filled two trolleys at Lidl and went to B&M too,” said Archie.
“They were happy to help but there were one or two arguments over who was putting tins in the trolley,” joked mum Susan, 43.
News of Archie’s exploits reached Scottish retail giant Semichem – which donated a £20 voucher for sanitary products to the cause.
The Children’s University charity works in partnership with schools to encourage learning and extra-curricular activities.
Children chalk up hours by doing different activities – with Archie both a keen boxer and cub scout.
The university aims to boost attainment, as well as building pupils’ self-confidence and resilience.
Children get to learn in different settings as well as attending their own graduation ceremonies.
The project is based on research showing those children without access to such opportunities fall behind, lack confidence, and fail to develop career aspirations.
The resulting attainment gap is so significant that one in four children from the most disadvantaged backgrounds achieve below expected attainment levels.
Photographer Susan said of Archie: “He does care about others and because he attends the cubs, he’s aware of things going on.
“We had a think about it and he decided he wanted to collect for food banks. He went round to the neighbours and also asked parents at school.
“Everyone was really positive. The fact he’s so young and it’s such a good cause. They cover an awful lot at school about people who don’t have a lot of things – the school are hot on positive-thinking attitudes.”
Archie has now caught the goodwill bug big time and fancies following in the footsteps of dad, Neil, 45, a social care worker.
“My dad helps people with disabilities, I’d like to do what he does when I’m older,” he said.