A TEENAGE boy generously collected food donations to help the less fortunate rather than go trick or treating for Halloween last week.

Joshua Dempsey, aged 14, and a pupil at Bishop Challoner school, set up a collection table in Appleton Drive for Basingstoke Foodbank between 6pm and 7.30pm on October 31, and posted his endeavour on Facebook asking for donations.

During this time, Popley resident Joshua received over 120 items, including from people who had driven to Popley just to donate.

Joshua is currently working towards his Duke of Edinburgh Charity Award and decided to collect the tins, food packets and drinks for Basingstoke Foodbank which helps feed people in crisis.

He said: “A huge thank you to all who donated this evening. It just goes to show what a great community we live in.

“I’m so happy at the difference this will make.”

It is not Joshua’s first time fundraising and making a difference for a good cause.

In July 2014 Joshua was featured in The Gazette after he shaved off his shoulder length blonde hair and donated it to The Little Princess Trust.

Following this effort, he raised around £1,500 which he donated to Southampton Hospital, where Joshua had heart surgery as a baby.

Included in the donations that Joshua received during the 90 minutes of collection were 12 cans of soups, 12 tins of tomatoes, six puddings, two cartons of coconut milk and nine packets of pasta which are soon to be delivered to the foodbank.

Joshua’s mother Natalie Dempsey said: “I am so incredibly proud of him, this is his second fundraising event and I’m so excited to see what he does in the future.

“There was so much support from the community, some people came out of their way to make donations and everyone was amazed at what he was doing.

“Joshua explained to all the children why he was doing it and said that he wanted to give something to poor people who are less fortunate and not take from people.

“He kept talking about children and babies who can’t always have a decent meal and how he wanted to help them.”