Generous Zara’s up for an award

Eight-year-old Zara McGuiness has launched Zara's Foundation to help underpriviledged children and families in her Featherstone community.
Eight-year-old Zara McGuiness has launched Zara's Foundation to help underpriviledged children and families in her Featherstone community.

AN EIGHT-year-old girl, who started her own foundation to raise thousands of pounds for cash-strapped families across the Five Towns, has been nominated for a Champion Children award.

Zara McGuinness, of Featherstone – who set up Zara’s Foundation after being mauled by a dog last year – was nominated by her proud mum Jean for the Express’ award which recognises brave and inspirational youngsters.

The generous St Thomas’ CE Junior School pupil – who needed emergency plastic surgery after the attack – opened a fundraising shop earlier this year to help residents pay bills and buy their children toys.

Mrs McGuinness, 49, of Huntwick Crescent, said: “Ever since the day Zara was attacked, she has completely changed and turned into a unique little girl.

“She understands how lucky she was to recover and wants to help people now who are not as fortunate as her.

“Zara helps in the shop every night after school and is constantly thinking of new ways to give out the money we raise.

“Last month she won a young achievers award in the Wakefield and District Housing ‘Love Where you Live scheme’, and I think she deserves recognition for all her hard work.”

The second hand store, on Station Lane, raises around £300 a week, and runs cash-giving schemes, including the Zara’s helping hand grant, which donates £100 a month to a community group in the district.

If you want to nominate a champion child, write a letter – including your name, address, daytime telephone number, and contact details for the child’s family – explaining the reasons for your nomination to Champion Children, Newsroom, Wakefield Express, Express house, Southgate, WF1 1TE or email editorial@wakefieldexpress.co.uk putting Champion children in the subject box, before Friday November 16.