Seven-year-old writes jokebook to raise money for Hackney homeless
- Credit: Ed Quiery King
A seven-year-old budding comedian is hoping to spread some laughter as he raises money for a Hackney homeless shelter.
Otis King has raised over £1,000 for Hackney Winter Night Shelter by writing and publishing his own original jokebook called OK - Just For Lols, selling artwork and helping his mum organise yoga events.
He has his own GoFundMe page where contributions can still be made to help him reach his £1,000 target. Anyone who donates, either via the page or in person, will receive their own copy of the jokebook in the post.
For Otis, it is important to support the homeless in his community: “I don’t like that some people have to sleep on the street, everyone deserves a place to call home.
“I like helping other people, and it was fun thinking up my own jokes too. I hope people find them funny.”
Otis also shared his favourite joke from the book: “Why did the teddy bear say no to dessert? Because it was stuffed!”
Hackney Winter Night Shelter describes its vision to create “a route out of homelessness for everyone in need in Hackney.” It offers both professional and holistic support to help those in need rebuild their lives.
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The shelter has been offering beds to the homeless for over 20 years. It focuses its efforts on the winter months between November and March, when those sleeping outdoors endure the coldest conditions.
The organisation is reliant on volunteer support and is grateful for any charitable contributions from members of the public.
Ed Quiery King, Otis’ dad, said he is extremely proud of his son: “Otis has a big heart…we’re happy we’ve found a way for him to channel his energy.
“We've tried to talk to our children openly and frankly about some of the issues affecting our local community, without trying to sugar-coat things too much. It's important to have these honest conversations because often they'll want to do something to help.”
According to figures from the Greater London Authority, 4,227 people were sleeping rough in London between April and June, of which 63 per cent were doing so for the first time.