Brother and sister forego birthday gifts for vulnerable children

A brother and sister decided to sacrifice their birthday presents this year in aid of children in care.

Instead of their usual birthday parties this year, Elsie Parlor, seven, and her younger brother, Alfred, five, held a joint fundraising disco in Newport Pagnell.

In place of gifts, guests were asked to put a donation for St Francis' Children's Society in a bucket.

Donations from the night raised £260 to help find adoptive parents for children in care.

Dominik Byrne, fundraising officer at St Francis' Children's Society said: "The whole team was moved when we heard about this party. Although parents often generously make donations, many of us are guilty of forgetting that children are often eager to help too.

"Elsie and Alfred are the first to have such a party – what a brilliant idea. They've inspired us to create party packs containing goodies, literature and a collection box for any other children who'd like to help."

In addition to raising funds, the party inspired conversations among the parents about children and adoption.

"Many parents came up to us, asking more about what we do and how they can help. Some worked in schools, one lady was a foster parent, another had been a cleaner in a children's home many years ago," said Byrne.

"So many people are curious about adoption, but haven't been given much information – some would like to adopt, but most simply want to help out. We're keen to speak to anybody who can volunteer, donate or, with more information, would consider becoming an adoptive parent themselves."

Elsie and Alfred gave a special thanks to the support of Newport Pagnell Baptist Church, which hosted the party in its hall.

Their mother, Debbie Parlor, said: "I'm really proud of them. Children become accustomed to presents at such an early age so I'm delighted they're learning about giving.

"The more people who know about St Francis' Children's Society, the more people will contact them as potential adoptive parents – so there'll be fewer children without loving homes."

If you would like a party pack to hold your own fundraising children's party, if you would like to know more about adopting, or if you could volunteer, please contact St Francis' Children's Society on 01908 572700 or email