CHILDREN and young people who had sacrificed some of their favourite things to help fund a new church building have decided to divert their funds to a greater cause — helping students who lost their belongings and their homes in the flats fire.

Sienna Crossley, aged seven from Horwich, is one of about 60 children and youth from Kings Church Bolton who gave up watching television, eating sweets, social media, games consoles and other luxuries to fund a new youth building.

Their efforts were due to contribute to an extension of the church’s new home, the refurbished Ainsworth Mill, and also expand the provision for young people, including new sessions for 0-18s and other members of the community.

However, on hearing about the devastating blaze at The Cube on Friday, the children have opted to donate all of their funds to the students displaced by the fire at the six-storey building.

Sienna's mum Tina, who along with husband Stephen is the church’s 0-18s pastor, said: "The attitude of our children and young people was astounding. There was no mulling this over for them. They said we need to care more about giving to others than ourselves, and if this is the need right now, this is what needs to be done."

Horwich Parish CE Primary School pupil Sienna wrote a letter to the Bolton News about the five-day ‘Lose Your Luxury’ challenge, which took place between November 11-15. Children as young as four, through to college students, took part.

Mrs Crossley said: "It struck our church leadership team that on the same week our children and teenagers chose to lose their luxuries for a week, others students lost some of theirs for life. Things which may be irreplaceable. We are aiming to complete our kids and youth building but they have lost their building which was home to them for the time they were at university in our town.

"We felt we had to choose to redirect our fundraising to help support and encourage them. We know the towns efforts has been incredible and they have all the emergency support they need for now. But we want to aim to use the money our children raised to go above and beyond that emergency help, and boost some of the students emotionally and mentally during this time."

Kings Church has written to all sponsors to explain the redirection of their generosity, and has offered to return money should it be requested.

An appeal has also gone out to church members asking for additional financial support for the victims of the fire.

To donate to either cause, visit