The Penny Appeal turns loose change into solid donation for The Hawk Conservancy Trust

Alex Bailey presents the cheque to Penny Smout, chief executive of The Hawk Conservancy Trust
Alex Bailey presents the cheque to Penny Smout, chief executive of The Hawk Conservancy Trust

Young eco champion Alex Bailey came up with a brilliant way to help the birds of prey he loves so much and launched an appeal for The Hawk Conservancy Trust.

Conscious of the many appeals by worthwhile charities, 12-year-old Alex from Rustington thought it would be a good idea to ask people to give just a few odd pennies.

Alex Bailey counting the pennies at NatWest bank in Rustington

Alex Bailey counting the pennies at NatWest bank in Rustington

He gave a talk at Dorset House School in Bury, where he is a year-eight prefect, and encouraged everyone to help save local wildlife by collecting and filling an envelope for The Penny Appeal.

Alex’s idea was that people could give the ‘loose change that won’t be missed’.

Dad Richard Bailey said: “The project has been organised and progressed by Alex for over a year.

“It was very well received and he collected over 60 envelopes, many bulging with coins. The total funds amounted to £270.24, which was a lot of pennies.

“With a passion for these amazing birds, Alex met earlier this year with the senior management at the trust to set up an appeal for their work, and after a few meetings, it was all agreed.

“He then produced a PowerPoint presentation to his school, asking for their support and the help of all the children. So, The Penny Appeal, as he called it, was created.”

Alex designed a poster and leaflet outlining the appeal and giving key facts about the trust and its birds of prey. These were distributed at his school.

Richard added: “Special collection envelopes took Alex days to put together and these were given to the Dorset House children to take home to collect any odd change around the house. Even a few coins would be welcome.”

Staff at NatWest bank in Rustington were happy to help sort the coins, with the help of a counting machine, and the full amount was then presented by Alex at the trust’s visitor centre in Andover.

Richard said: “The Hawk Conservancy Trust were extremely grateful. The cheque was handed over to the CEO, whose name, just by coincidence, happens to be Penny.”

The trust works to conserve birds of prey.

Other projects Alex has organised at his school include placing plants in every classroom to raise awareness of the environment and make the rooms more eco-friendly.

Alex will be joining Brighton College next year, in September.

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