'Isaac's always been very kind-hearted. Anything he comes across he always wants to stop and help. It's massively helped with his confidence.'
An 11-year-old boy is winning people's hearts after he came up with a heartwarming use for this birthday money: launching a food bank service from his garden shed. Isaac Winfield, who was born with a rare chromosome disorder, started the initiative in 2020 after learning that his new school didn’t accept food donations. "It started in the car on the way to school," the boy's mom, Claire, told SWNS. "We'd always donated to food banks and during the pandemic he would take food parcels into school which would be given to people in need. When Isaac moved from mainstream school to a specialist school he was left confused as to what he was going to do with his food parcel."
"It was in the middle of the pandemic and his new school weren’t offering food parcels. Being the resilient little lad he is he said 'it's alright, we’ll give them food at my house.' I was laughing but he had just broken his arm so I let him do it to cheer him up," the 42-year-old continued. "I doubled what money we gave them normally for food parcels and he went off to Aldi. With a little bit of help he put all the food he bought in a little greenhouse with some lights and started offering it from there. Someone spotted it and put it on one of those Facebook community sites and it went mad. People came and donated. The greenhouse lasted four weeks before I had to go and get a shed because we ran out of room."
"By Easter 2021 we were funded a bigger shed by the free masons. He ran his little shed and his big shed on the drive. We have the big shed on the driveway and operations will continue from the house. Luckily we have a big driveway," she added. Today, well-wishers can donate food or ask for supplies by contacting Isaac via his Friend's of Isaac Food Bank Facebook page. The youngster fills bags of groceries that have been donated and hands them out to the needy around his hometown. Those in need can also directly visit his foodbank shed—open 24 hours every day—and help themselves to whatever they require.
Isaac now plans to expand his service by opening a foodbank in town with the backing of a local charity. "It's gone from a little project to a vital community project," Claire revealed. "I can't believe it's been two years coming up. He had a van donated. Isaac loves YouTube and we had a YouTuber called Mark McCann the driveway who donated the van, it was fully taxed and insured. Morrison's jumped on board and started supporting us with the cause, so has the community. Our local community donate as and when they can." This year, Isaac asked his family and friends to make foodbank donations instead of buying him birthday gifts.
"For his 11th birthday he just wanted foodbank donations and it was absolutely rammed. He just wanted to get as many donations in as possible to help as many people as he can. I see roughly five visitors a day. The shed is always open and they don’t need to knock and I know we get visitors who come late at night and avoid seeing people. We think the situation for people is going to get worse and worse as the winter comes up. As it gets colder people are going to have to choose between heating and eating. We're stocking up on pet food, food, winter clothes and wellingtons to help people keep warm," she said. "Isaac's always been very kind-hearted. Anything he comes across he always wants to stop and help. I'm very blessed. It's massively helped with his confidence, with his disability it has massively helped. To help all these people and hear how much of a wonderful job it's boosted his confidence. He can't read or write but he can fundraise."