Children raise £12,500

Pupils from Dunannie in fancy dress
Pupils from Dunannie in fancy dress
Dr John Steadman, archivist of Portsmouth History Centre based at Portsmouth Central Library     Picture:  Malcolm Wells

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CHILDREN at a school in Steep have been fundraising their socks off to raise thousands of pounds for a disabled children’s charity.

The youngsters from Bedales junior and pre-prep schools raised a fantastic total of £12,537.50 for Whizz Kidz, which will use the money to buy a powered wheelchair and another manual one for Hampshire children.

Pupils at the pre-prep school, Dunannie, raised £7,650 over the Easter holidays through odd jobs at home including gardening, dog-walking and even poop-scooping.

They also took part in a fun-run, a plant sale and craft and cake sales to boost the coffers, along with a little help from Paralympic gold-medallist Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, who donated a signed bottle of House of Lords champagne that was auctioned off for £400.

Jo Webbern, head of Dunannie, said: ‘The children cheered with delight when they heard they had raised enough money to buy a disabled child in Hampshire a powered wheelchair.

‘Earlier on in the term they saw a video of how much powered wheelchairs improve a child’s quality of life and so to learn that their efforts had made this possible for another child was very exciting for them.’

More than 190 Dunhurst junior schoolchildren raised £4,887.50, mostly from a sponsored swimathon of 30 lengths of their school pool.

Alan Simmons, their deputy head, says: ‘The swim was a fantastic accomplishment in itself with a good number of the children gaining a sense of achievement.

‘I am very proud of the pupils’ efforts.’

There are 13 children in Hampshire waiting for a wheelchair and the money raised by Dunhurst and Dunannie will contribute towards helping these local children become more mobile.