A BIG-HEARTED boy has been inspired to help the homeless... after reading a children’s book.
Eight-year-old Felix Rosen read A Street Cat Named Bob, which tells the story of a stray cat changing the life of a homeless London street musician and recovering drug addict.
And now Felix, of Gunhill Place, Basildon, is aiming to raise up to £1,000 by taking on a one-mile swimming challenge.
The funds raised will go towards helping Sky Butcher, who is on a mission to assist the homeless.
Ms Butcher set up a group to help feed and raise supplies and money for the homeless in 2015 after deciding not enough was being done to help.
Felix’s dad Larry Rosen, 72, said: “The council won’t assist with the homeless so Sky Butcher, who was named volunteer of the year at the Festival Leisure Park Community Awards, gets out every evening and takes clothes to give to the homeless people.
“She has about 30 people helping her, in terms of cooking food, and Sky takes the food out to make sure they have a hot meal.
“Felix has been reading A Street Cat Named Bob, which is about a cat that helps a homeless man.
“Felix was a bit upset about people being homeless and so he wanted to help in some way.
“He can already swim a kilometre at the moment, but he wants to push himself and reach a mile to raise money for Sky to help the homeless.”
Felix is hoping to complete the fundraiser at Basildon Sporting Village, although Larry admits they are waiting to get the go-ahead.
“He wants to do it at Basildon Sporting Village, but they haven’t come back to us yet,” added Larry.
“We help Sky quite a lot ourselves and I suppose that has rubbed off on him.
“We didn’t realise there was such a problem in terms of the amount of homeless people in the area. I work as a heating engineer and so I have given her a voucher for a free boiler service, which she can put into a raffle and the money raised can be used to help the homeless. elix has already raised £300 through sponsorship.”