A DEDICATED youngster is spending his spare time selling poppies to raise money for the Royal British Legion.

Callum Root is now a veteran poppy seller at the tender age of 12 having sold them for the past four years.

He spends four evenings a week and all day Saturday outside the Co-op in Halstead to raise funds and pay respect to those who lost their lives in the first and second world wars.

Callum’s mother, Michelle, who lives in Halstead, said: “He saw a poster in the Co-op a few years ago and said: ‘Mum, can I do it?’.

“Since then he has been helping out when he can.”

Last year Callum raised £141 from selling poppies with funds going to support servicemen and women and former veterans and their families.

Michelle said: “He always says it not about how much he raises, it’s about showing respect.

“A lot of people will already have poppies but will still put money in his pot because they know he is the younger generation who will carry this on.”

Callum has attended Remembrance Day services from a young age and has always worn a poppy.

Michelle said: “He would tell people he was wearing it because if it wasn’t for the people who gave their lives, we wouldn’t be here today.

“He has got so much respect for others for a 12-year-old.

“Not many other 12-year-olds would stand outside the shop in the cold and rain.”

Callum is also helping to restore a Second World War aircraft in memory of his great grandfather, George.

George was a armourer in the RAF in the Second World War and flew Hawker Typhoon aircraft.

Callum and his father, Darrel, heard about a project to restore a Hawker Typhoon and immediately got involved.

Darrel said: “Callum made a piece of artwork with a Typhoon mosaic on it for some homework.

“He took it along to the launch and some Typhoon pilots signed it for him.

“Every year since he has bought his yearly membership from his pocket money.”

Callum also used his birthday money to have his designed printed on to limited edition Christmas cards which in sold in aid of the project. He also had his designs printed on an umbrella which was auctioned off.

The group hopes to have the Hawker Typhoon flying or the 80th anniversary of D Day in June 2024.