Knebworth boy raises nearly £8,000 after asking Santa not to bring him Christmas presents

PUBLISHED: 07:01 28 February 2018 | UPDATED: 08:06 28 February 2018

Luke Bedford with his mum Faye and Orla Hermitage, who Luke wanted to help by not asking for Christmas presents after learning she had a brain tumour. Picture: Keech Hospice Care

Luke Bedford with his mum Faye and Orla Hermitage, who Luke wanted to help by not asking for Christmas presents after learning she had a brain tumour. Picture: Keech Hospice Care

Archant

A Knebworth schoolboy who asked Santa not to bring him any presents for Christmas and to instead give the money to charity has raised almost £8,000.

Luke Bedford managed to raise the four-figure sum by giving up his Christmas gifts for 2017 – with more than half of the funds going to Keech Hospice Care.

The eight-year-old wrote a selfless note not asking for presents after discovering his friend Thomas’ cousin, Orla Hermitage from Stevenage, has a brain tumour.

He decided to ask Santa not to bring him any presents, so the money could go to help six-year-old Orla and other seriously ill children like her.

Luke has since said it was “the best Christmas ever”, because he “helped someone”.

Keech Hospice Care’s Liz Searle said she was overwhelmed by Luke’s gesture.

“We’re so grateful to Luke for everything he has done for us,” said Liz, who is the chief executive officer for Herts and Bedfordshire’s children’s hospice.

“Every penny goes towards helping us raise the £5.7 million we need every year to continue providing excellent care and support for more children in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, and Milton Keynes and adults in Luton and south Bedfordshire.”

In total Luke raised £7,484, with more than £4,300 going to Keech Hospice Care and the remainder to The Sick Children’s Trust – a national charity which provides free, high-quality ‘home from home’ accommodation for families with sick children in hospital.

Luke’s mum Tanya, 41, said the spirit of giving was alive and well in their home on Christmas Day.

“Luke is very proud of how much he was able to raise and is really keen to help his local children’s hospice,” said Tanya.

Orla’s mum Susan Hermitage, 37, added: “Our family has been blown away by the generosity of the whole community in support of Luke’s amazing gesture. He is such a sweet boy.

“The money raised will do a huge amount to help continue funding the amazing Keech nurses who have supported our family for the last six years.”

Luke and Tanya met up with little Orla in February to present one of the cheques to Keech.

To donate to Keech Hospice Care or to find out more about the services the charity provides, visit keech.org.uk.

And for more information about The Sick Children’s Trust, as well as how to donate, see sickchildrenstrust.org.

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