Beds, Herts & Bucks

Bedford teenager foregoes birthday gifts to help food bank

Katya Barwood with donated food Image copyright Tom Barwood
Image caption Katya Barwood, 13, chose items including nappies, tin openers, toiletries and washing-up liquid

A 13-year-old girl who asked for charity donations instead of birthday presents has handed over groceries worth about £500 to a food bank.

Katya Barwood, of Bedford, wanted to help those less fortunate than her.

"I got way more satisfaction out of giving them the food rather than having presents all to myself," she said.

Bedford Foodbank project manager Sarah Broughton said Katya's donation was "very unusual" and described her as an "amazing and incredible young lady".

Image copyright Tom Barwood
Image caption Katya went with her brother Isaac to personally donate the food

Katya said she got the idea after visiting the food bank with her Scout group.

She used the donations to pay for a large online supermarket order.

"A lot of people do need help, and they [the charity] can't help all of them, so I thought maybe instead of having a birthday that was all about me, I could do something to help them," she said.

"I'm probably a lot more fortunate than they are and they deserve to have this, so I put them before me."

Her father, Tom Barwood, said: "She is a very single-minded and motivated girl and when she gets an idea, off she goes."

Image copyright Tom Barwood
Image caption Two full car loads of items were taken to Bedford Foodbank

Ms Broughton said Katya's donation weighed about 260kg (41st) and would make 108 meals.

The charity is currently feeding about 650 people a month, and last academic year fed 7,433, she said.

After her father praised her endeavours on Facebook page We Are Bedford, Carly Kaczorowski, who has used a foodbank, said: "What an amazing young lady you have raised.

"Too many children nowadays only think of themselves and or material items. She is a credit to you."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites