A GENEROUS boy saved up his pocket money to give to a mental health charity after he found out it may close.

Billy Ross, nine, went to the office of MIND in Whitmore Way, Basildon to donate his own money box which he gave it to manager Pat Holdsworth.

Billy’s mum Jo Ross, who lives in Southend, has been a volunteer at the charity for two years and when Billy saw she was upset because it might close he promised to donate his pocket money.

Jo said: “He is a really generous boy and he saw that I got upset when I told him that it might have to close next year because we cannot get enough funding to stay open.

“He was really moved and said he wanted to start saving and donate any money he could save up to try and stop it closing.

His school in Westcliff really teach caring and sharing which is great and he got an extra 50 points at Brownies, we think he gave the charity about £6.70.”

Vital counselling services for young people and adults are at risk if enough funds cannot be secured by next year to keep the charity, which has been running for 40 years, open.

The surprise donation from little Billy came on the same day that John Baron, Basildon and Billericay MP, visited the charity to discuss its future after it emerged it could close in March because of a lack of funding.

Sheila Chesney, chief executive of Basildon MIND said: “It was a very positive visit and we appreciate that Mr baron took the time to come and see us.

“He said he really wants to help us raise the profile of Basildon MIND and the work we do in the community.

“We were so touched by Billy’s donation, it just melts your heart that someone that young can be so thoughtful, what a lovely little boy.”

MIND also wanted to say thank you to a donation of £200 from the Inner Wheel Club of Basildon which they received last week. Mr Baron, who visited on Friday, added: “

“Basildon MIND provides a very valuable service to the community for both adults and children.

“However, there are funding concerns which need to be addressed otherwise we could lose this service, and we need to do so with some urgency.”

“Mental health has for too long been the Cinderella of the NHS. This must change. Organisations like Basildon MIND are helping us to do just that.”