Meet the five-year-old Northamptonshire boy who picked 11 bags of litter to ‘help keep the animals safe’

Incredibly, Joseph raised more than £1,800 for two charities close to his and his family’s hearts

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 9:06 am

A five-year-old boy spent part of the school holidays litter picking in Northamptonshire in the hope it will ‘keep the animals safe’.

Joseph Dooley, from West Haddon, told his mum last year that he wanted to litter pick as he had seen a fair amount of rubbish in his home village.

The youngster also said he wanted to raise money at the same time so, with help from his family, a sponsored litter pick was organised.

Joseph Dooley with his first litter picking haul.
Joseph Dooley with his first litter picking haul.

During February half term, Joseph spent five hours litter picking in West Haddon and then another day in the Crispin’s area where his grandmother lives.

Incredibly, Joseph’s efforts raised more than £1,800 - including an anonymous donation of £950.

The money raised has been split between The Gosset Ward at Northampton General Hospital - where Joseph was cared for when he was ill as a newborn - and Earth’s Lonely Angels, a Northampton charity that provides support to people who are less fortunate.

Joseph’s mum, Illona Taylor, said: “Joseph was born full-term but he was quite poorly and he spent a lot of time on the ward where they looked after him really well.

Joseph presenting his fundraising efforts to The Gosset Ward.

“We’ve always told him that he was poorly, but that he was brave and amazing and that everyone on the ward really helped him, so he has always been aware of it and I think that’s why he wanted to raise money for the ward.

“He also wanted to give some money to people who do not have anything or are homeless so he decided to do a litter pick.

“He said the litter pick was for the birds and the animals as he wants to keep them safe.”

Since Joseph’s efforts, he has visited the hospital to present the ward with a giant cheque and plans are in process to do something similar with Earth’s Lonely Angels.

Illona added: “Joseph has had a lot of support and he absolutely loved doing the litter pick and didn’t want to stop. It was all his idea and all his doing, we didn't have anything to do with what he wanted to do.

“It makes us really, really proud of him, especially as The Gosset Ward is so close to my heart so it means so much to me.

“He’s only five so he knows he has done something good but he doesn’t realise how much, so I want to collect memories for him to look back on.”

Following his two-day litter pick, Joseph has also joined the Northamptonshire Wombles so that he can continue to regularly litter pick.

Joseph’s JustGiving page is still open and any further donations will be donated to his two chosen charities. Visit the fundraising page here.

Message from the editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper while out for your essential shopping.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the highest standards in the world. The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers and consequently the advertising that we receive. We are now more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news by buying a copy of our newspaper.

Thank you