CHRISTMAS day couldn’t have come soon enough for one Kingsteignton youngster who chose to abstain from eating chocolate in a bid to raise money for those less fortunate than himself.

Upon opening the first door of his advent calender, eight-year-old Fred Whitcher, in a suprising twist of fate given his love for chocolate, chose not to eat the sweet treat.

Instead the young man chose to go without chocolate, in all its forms, and use this choice as a catalyst to raise money for those facing great hardship this Christmas.

And so it was, with his brother’s laptop, Fred set about making sponsorship forms and, with a little help from mum Emma and dad Vince, spreading the word of his effort.

‘It was an idea that sort of came of out nowhere,’ said Vince, Fred’s dad. ‘And for Fred, that was amazing and so we have just run with it’ he added.

Since deciding to forgo chocolate Fred has raised more than £230 – an impressive figure and one of which the young man ought to be proud.

In addition to raising hundreds of pounds, Fred has received donations of clothes and bedding from generous donors too, which he handed out to the Salvation Army in Newton Abbot.

‘We are blown away by the support Fred has been given in his quest to help local homeless people’ said Emma, Fred’s mum.

‘We can’t believe how many people have contributed to his cause, we are so grateful’ she added.

The money raised off the back of Fred’s efforts was used to purchase food which was then donated to THAT food bank in Newtom Abbot; sleeping bags were also bought, which Fred donated to the town’s branch of the Salvation Army on Tuesday, December 27.

Now able to enjoy his crumpets with Nutella, Fred, who has surely seen off the mountain of Christmas-themed chocolate awaiting him, said: ‘I wanted to help homeless people because my brother did not eat crisps or drink squash for Lent.

‘People have been sponsoring me with money to not eat chocolate until Christmas Day.’