The RSPCA’s latest festive advert which aims to inspire the next generation to show kindness at Christmas stars three young boys from West Sussex - two of whom are from Horsham.
On Friday November 30, the animal welfare charity based in Southwater released its annual Christmas video which is made by the charity’s in-house team and also features members of staff.
The film is set to a cover version soundtrack of ‘Use Somebody’ by Kings of Leon, who gave special permission to use the track, whic is sung by local artist and RSPCA press officer Lucy Ellie.
It tells the story of a young boy who grows up helping animals and launches the charity’s Delivering Kindness at Christmas fundraising appeal.
Three-year-old Elias, from Horsham, plays the youngest lad in the charity’s festive advert.
His mum, Donna Fulkes, said Elias is a huge animal-lover and was excited to be part of the RSPCA’s film.
She added: “We have a pet cat at home that he likes helping to look after. He enjoys being outside and looking out for birds and animals with his binoculars.
“He’s been fortunate enough to attend a fantastic nursery since he turned one, where they have a farm school. He loves helping to look after the different animals they have there, such as sheep, goats and ponies. This has really encouraged his love of animals and how to care for them.”
In the moving video, Elias soon grows up and is next portrayed by 11-year-old Charlie Chambers - nephew of RSPCA video producer and creator of the film Amie Hill - from Horsham.
His mum, Lucinda Hill-Chambers, said: “Charlie really wanted to be involved in the RSPCA film as he loves drama and acting.
“At the weekends Charlie helps on our family smallholding. He has a special responsibility for caring for the rabbits, his favourite is an extremely fast, grey bunny named ‘Bolt’.
“He is a lover of all animals and became particularly fond of the lovely dog, Apollo, who also stars in the video alongside Charlie.”
The heartwarming tale ends with 14-year-old Lewis rescuing some kittens.
Lewis Renninson - who lives with his two dogs, three cats and three chickens in Midhurst - was also excited to get involved with the advert.
He said: “I went to see the Lion King in the West End when I was six and fell in love with acting. I joined Surrey Theatre Academy and have been in lots of plays. I played Buddy in Elf, Warner in Legally Blonde and Barnum in The Greatest Showman. This was my first experience of filming and I loved it.”
The RSPCA is asking the nation to show kindness to all of the animals in need, and based on the last three years, the RSPCA expect more than 10,000 animals to be taken into care this winter.
Last year, the charity’s 24-hour cruelty hotline received 55,821 calls over Christmas and took in 5,429 animals during that time, and more than 8,000 animals spent Christmas Day in its care last year.
It costs the RSPCA £515 to feed all of the animals in one animal centre over Christmas, and more than £28,000 to run a single centre over the festive period. Just £3 could buy a toy for a needy pet, £6 could feed a dog for a week and £12 could give the gift of comfort - blanket, toys and a tasty treat.
To donate, please visit www.rspca.org.uk/giftofkindness