AN inspirational youngster who is on a mission to help the homeless has teamed up with a charity shop.

Charitable Jacob Rabi-Laleh, eight, from Maldon, will be giving out backpacks with essential items to people living on the streets of Essex over Christmas.

Last year he handed out 150 bags and hopes to donate more than 200 this year.

Jacob has teamed up the Salvation Army shop, in High Street, to help get his bags ready for handing out ahead of the festive season.

Stephanie Bannister, Jacob’s mum, said: “All last year Kevin Dawson Jennings, the manager at the Salvation Army, helped us.

“He gets wash kits – knitted little bags with toiletries in – donated and gave them to us and all of the 150 bags last year had the wash kits in them.

“Kevin contacted me again this year and said he had more donated.”

It is not known who the anonymous wash kit donor is.

Stephanie added: “It is absolutely invaluable to us. It would take a huge amount out of our budget if we had to pay for wash bags.

“Kevin also helps us with coats he can’t sell and sleeping bags and other items which have been donated.

“It has been a massive help and Kevin has been amazing.

“We are massively grateful for the people donating all the things and the person who donates the wash kits – they are an amazing person.”

This Sunday Jacob will host a garage sale in a bid to increase the number of items he can give out.

It will take place at his home in Mariner’s Way from 10am to 4pm.

Stephanie said: “Most people have things cluttering up their homes so We are asking people to donate anything not being used.

“We have all go six pairs of gloves or four hats which are cluttering our drawers.

“We are not asking people to come down and buy things but for people to bring along old sleeping bags, backpacks, jumpers or joggers and donate them.

“They can swap it for some of the stuff we have here or Jacob’s nan is running a café from the house for donations.”

For more information, visit www.jacobsbackpackcampaign.co.uk.