A SCHOOLGIRL has raised £450 for needy pets after giving up presents and a party for her birthday.

Seven-year-old Florence Hayman decided to forgo gifts to raise money for Blue Cross pet charity after recently losing her two pet rabbits Honey and Ginger and also befriending a number of stray cats while on holiday in Greece.

Florence, who attends Oaksey Primary School, helped her mum to organise a birthday bazaar event with different stalls at the village hall in Somerford Keynes instead of having a traditional party.

There were nine stalls including soft toys, books, sweets and homemade decorations along with a ‘pup paws’ café selling cakes. 

Friends and family made and donated some of the items to sell. 

Florence’s mum, Jane Hayman, 45, said: “Florence is very passionate about animals and it didn’t bother her at all that she wouldn’t be receiving any birthday presents.

“She was so touched by what she saw when we were on holiday and asked whether there were many pets that didn’t have homes of their own. 

“She also recently lost her two pet rabbits so asked what she could do to help pets who are in need.

“She had so much fun on the day of the bazaar with all her friends and family around her and at the same time raised money for such a worthy cause.”

Tina Burdett, Blue Cross community fundraiser, said: “We were really touched by Florence’s gesture of throwing an event for us rather than a birthday party.

“We’ve invited Florence to our rehoming centre in Burford, Oxfordshire, as a thank you so she can meet some of the pets her money will be helping.”

Blue Cross is a registered charity and relies on the support of animal lovers to continue its vital work. 

If you would like to make a donation or find out more about how you can help us help even more sick, injured and abandoned pets this Christmas visit bluecross.org.uk