Caring Burnley schoolboy runs half marathon and raises hundreds to help new homeless friend

A selfless and big-hearted nine-year-old boy has been moved to raise money for Crisis after meeting a local man affected by homelessness

Thomas Wilson, a pupil of St Mary's Sabden RC Primary School, decided to take up the Step Forward to end homelessness challenge after meeting Dean, who is homeless, outside a Burnley supermarket.

Thomas, who is running 13 miles on a treadmill over the month of March, said: “When I have been going to the supermarket with my mum we have been talking to a homeless man called Dean who sits outside. He's a really nice man and we get him a coffee and some food and we sit and chat to him. We found out last week that he became homeless because his mum died and he had been caring for her and now he has nowhere to live. He was so sad and this made me feel really sad too so I decided I want to do something to help people like him.”

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Thomas’ mum, Clare, said: “This campaign has really captured my little boy's heart and he's so determined... he’s been doing 1km every day on the treadmill, so he should almost double how far he had planned to go! He’s also been giving talks in his school assembly and at the cubs to help spread the word. He’s decided that he wants to work for Crisis when he grows up so that he can help more people like Dean.”

Thomas Wilson

Richard Lee, Crisis’ fundraising director, said: “This is a really heart-warming story and shows how we can look after each other in our society. Crisis is working to end homelessness for good - everyone deserves a safe and stable home. We’re so grateful to Thomas for his fundraising and enthusiasm and with that kind of passion for homelessness I really hope he joins Crisis when he’s old enough.”

"Step forward to end homelessness" takes place throughout March and encourages people to take as many steps as they can, whether by walking, running, skipping, dancing or even moon walking to raise money for Crisis. The money raised will go towards supporting the year-round services that Crisis provides to help people out of homelessness for good. This includes one-to-one support, education, training and help with housing, employment and health. 

Thomas has already raised over £700 and you can boost this by sponsoring him here