AS the temperatures fell on a cold night in November, a kind-hearted youngster prepared to bed down for the annual YMCA Sleepout.
At the tender age of 12, it was the third time that Miguel Latham-Bailey had taken part in the fund-raising drive – raising more than £1,500 for the charity in that time.
And his supportive efforts don’t stop there, as he also regularly encourages members of his church to donate items for the homeless, and even uses his own pocket money to buy things for the Reconnect Centre in Burton.
Miguel, who attends Abbot Beyne School, said: “Homelessness will always come first to me. We’re well off, we have a roof over our heads and food on the table.”
Last year, when the YMCA launched an appeal for winter clothes, the generous lad, of Calgary Crescent, Winshill, went out of his way to collect coats, duvets, sleeping bags and blankets, which the charity said made a huge difference to those who are rough sleeping.
“He doesn’t like to see people go without, he is very caring and makes me very proud.
“He has even given up his last two Christmas Days to serve Christmas dinner at All Saints’ Church in Branston,” his mum Denise told the Mail.
Miguel became the youngest participant ever when he took part in the Sleepout at the age of 10. YMCA officials, who admit the fund-raiser is ‘not for the faint-hearted’ were more than a little taken aback when they were contacted by the youngster, but he has now become a firm favourite at the annual event.
Miguel’s kind-hearted gestures have earned him the admiration and respect of staff at the YMCA, with appeals coordinator Gillian Cox describing him as ‘a wonderful young man’.
“He has a very big heart, who makes a huge difference to the work of Burton YMCA, there are not many boys of his age that do what he does.
“He encourages others to take part in the Sleepout and raises awareness of what we do, where-ever he goes.
“Thanks to Miguel and those that support the Sleepout we have been able to create three extra bedrooms at Reconnect and every penny that he has raised has been spent helping local vulnerable people,” she added.
Miguel has been nominated for the community care award in the Children of Courage and Achievement awards.