Nathan, 5, hands birthday gifts to children’s charity

Nathan Hill with mum Julie Innes and dad Gary Hill. Picture: Toby Williams

Nathan Hill with mum Julie Innes and dad Gary Hill. Picture: Toby Williams

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When most children blow out the candles on their fifth birthday cake, they wish for more toys, a bigger party and even more cake.

However, when big-hearted Nathan Hill decided he wanted to make a difference to the lives of less advantaged children all over the Capital, mum Julie Innes was only too happy to make his birthday wish come true.

Nathan Hill. Picture: Toby Williams

Nathan Hill. Picture: Toby Williams

Nathan, who celebrated his fifth birthday on May 28, decided he wanted to give some of his gift money to children’s charity Barnardo’s.

And Julie, 27, thought of the perfect way he could give back, taking him shopping for toys to donate to the charity.

“It was when I was putting him to bed one night, he asked if there were children who did didn’t have everything he had,” she said.

“Nathan was really upset when I was telling him about some children who haven’t grown up with parents around and he wanted to do something to help them.

“So when we suggested he could do something for other children and families, he was delighted.

“Nathan wanted to give toys to children in Edinburgh who didn’t have a mummy or daddy so we contacted Barnardo’s Scotland as we knew they used to run homes.

“We learned the charity no longer runs homes but they do have family support services in Edinburgh where they support children and young people.

“When we contacted the charity they said the toys would be very useful.”

The pair, who currently live in Restalrig, went shopping at Fort Kinnaird’s Smyths and Toys ‘R’ Us stores, where 
Nathan spent more than £50 on a selection of toys.

He chose cars, dolls, plastic dinosaurs and space hoppers for the children, which were handed over to Barnardo’s Oxgangs donation centre on Friday.

Nathan and Julie, along with dad Gary, 28, met with Hawys Kilday, assistant director for Barnardo’s in Edinburgh, who thanked the youngster for his donation.

“It’s fantastic that Nathan gave up his birthday presents to help other children,” she said.

“Play can be a really effective way of communicating, learning and aiding development.

“This year Barnardo’s is marking its 150th anniversary and our belief is that every child should have the best possible start in life.

“We’ve worked with over 240,000 children, young people and families over the last year alone and we want to provide the same level of support to all of them.

“Nathan’s donation is helping us continue our work and make sure no child is turned away from the help that they need.”

It has been a huge week for Nathan, who started school at Craigentinny Primary on Tuesday. He also wore his new school tie for the meeting at the donation centre.

His generosity has captured the hearts of many of his mother’s friends and work colleagues after Julie posted his idea on Facebook.

Now they too have joined the drive, taking time to help with donations by handing over toys and games previously belonging to their own children.

Julie spoke of her pride at her son’s selflessness and hopes Nathan will be able to see the good his donation does.

She said: “We’re so proud of Nathan and are sure that he will remember how much of a difference a small act of kindness can bring.

“We’re looking forward to seeing how Nathan’s donations help those in need.”

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