Bishops Itchington boy's chain poem helping children struggling during lockdown

Toby is raising money for the NSPCC

A seven-year-old from Bishops Itchington has been providing a way to help children who are struggling during the lockdown.

Toby Price is encouraging primary school children across the country to contribute to his lockdown-themed chain poem that is raising money for the NSPCC.

Getting the ball rolling with the poem’s first two lines, Toby has now surpassed his initial £100 fundraising target, with children from other counties adding silly, funny and creative rhymes to his Facebook group.

Toby Price with his mum Sarah. Photo supplied.

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His mother, Sarah Price, has praised the generosity of families across Warwickshire and further afield.

The 36-year-old said: “Toby wanted to do something to help people during lockdown so we had a long chat about it and the different options.

"I showed him what Captain Tom Moore was doing and introduced him to how he was raising money via Just Giving.

“Toby’s first thought was a 100k bike ride over the course of a month but another suggestion was something that others could join in with and that’s when the idea of a poem was born.

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Toby Price. Photo supplied

“We looked at a few charities and he wanted to help children like himself and he thought the NSPCC would be good.

"I read about Childline and saw a story about a girl who was struggling with anxiety during lockdown and it really hit home. The lockdown has been bad for people’s mental health so it’s a difficult time for everyone.”

NSPCC-ran Childline has continued to provide a vital service for Children since the start of the pandemic.

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Childline volunteers and staff have conducted more than 2,200 counselling sessions with Children who have Coronavirus related worries and concerns since the end of January, with 210 being delivered at the charity’s Birmingham base.

Toby Price with his mum Sarah Price. Photo supplied.

People have been donating money via the Just Giving page, and contributing their lines on a Facebook group called ‘Covid-19 NSPCC lockdown poem’.

Sarah said: “We were initially looking to raise £100 but we have already passed that total.

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"It’s not all about parents donating money – Toby for example gave £2 of his pocket money so no matter how big or small any donation is appreciated.

“The other entries have been great so far. Some have been funny, sad but all very good. We would like children of primary school age to get creative with this and express themselves.

“It would be great if we can make the poem really long. If it gets big enough it would be great to get it published and perhaps raise even more for the NSPCC.

"We've already had an offer from a local company to help pay for this if we get that far."

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Toby, a year two pupil at Bishops Itchington Primary School, said: “I enjoy seeing the other entries and I like them all – some have been really funny.

“I would like to see other children take part and I would like this to raise about £300 for the NSPCC.”

Children can contribute to Toby’s chain poem by joining the Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2654951441275730/ and donations can be made by going to: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/tobermoryprice