Bury St Edmunds man ‘looks after the pennies’ to raise thousands of pounds for charity

Richard Watts with some of the residents of Norhtgate Lodge
Richard Watts with some of the residents of Norhtgate Lodge

With the help of the community, a young Bury St Edmunds man has ‘looked after the pennies’ after collecting £2,000 in loose change for charity.

Richard Watts, 19, started collecting coppers and five pence pieces - eventually raising more than £300 for various charities while a pupil at Priory School three years ago.

Motivated by his success, he kept at it, and with the help of others, has amassed £2,000 - donating to various charities online and to shops around the town as he goes.

His mum Alison, 50, said: “He’s always had a thing about money and he liked to collect coppers.

“We had a collection at home and I said how about giving it to a charity shop.

“He spends ages counting it up. He’s very accurate and people have been ever so kind.”

Richard, who is autistic, has had help along the way with family, friends and associates chipping in including sheltered housing scheme Northgate Lodge, which he used to visit with Priory School.

The Info Bar and his hairdressers have also lent a hand.

Usually collecting £10 at a time, he donates bags of change to charity shops.

His fund-raising includes £267 for the British Heart Foundation, £142 for Oxfam and £167 for Cancer Research.

Mrs Watts said: “They (the charity shops) are always really pleased.

“They all say ‘oh yes, you’re the best one’. They really encourage and are lovely to him.”