A KIND-HEARTED youngster was left “overwhelmed” after her plea to help secure food and Christmas presents for struggling families was met with a wave of support.

Chardannay Elliott decided to put her £17 pocket money towards helping two families left struggling due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

But after friends and family chipped in £200, the 11-year-old decided to widen her project to help as many families as she could.

Her proud mum Kelley, from Southend, said: “She is such a sweet girl and has obviously spoken to children at her school.

Braintree and Witham Times:

Packing - the 11-year-old packs the bags

“Some don’t have much and may not have a Christmas this year. This pulled her heart strings and she wanted to make a difference.

“She knows Covid has affected most if not everyone in one way or another.”

Chardannay, a pupil at Southchurch High School, quickly gathered a huge stockpile of dry foods, from cereal to flour. By setting up a Facebook page, ‘Chardannays Army’, and adding a wishlist. Supportive donors have chipped in to buy Christmas presents.

Kelley, 40, said: “I’ve got seven massive boxes full of dry foods and I have three boxes filled with wrapped presents.

Braintree and Witham Times:

Shopping - Chardannay picks up some supplies

“I have about five boxes filled with books, DVDs and stocking fillers.

“The reaction has just been amazing, she is absolutely overwhelmed. She was a bit emotional going to school yesterday morning.”

So far the family have wrapped up 187 presents for children in need, but are raising cash to buy more wrapping paper and supplies to keep going.

Chardannay, the youngest of eight siblings, has shown a maturity beyond her years to support those in a worse situation than herself.

Kelley added: “Her dad works in the construction industry so his work should be okay during the new lockdown.

Braintree and Witham Times:

Supplies - Chardannay has boxes of dry foods too

“But she knows that for many, this is going to be a really difficult time.

“I gave her dinner money for school yesterday, but she just asked to donate it to the cause and take her own lunch. I can’t put into words how proud I am of her.”

To donate, visit facebook.com/chardannayarmy/