Portsmouth pupils throw weight behind lord mayor’s fundraising

Mayor Ken Ellcome, with head girl, Beth Harkham and Mustafa Elias with other pupils at the school    Picture: Habibur Rahman
Mayor Ken Ellcome, with head girl, Beth Harkham and Mustafa Elias with other pupils at the school Picture: Habibur Rahman

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COMMUNITY-MINDED children have thrown their weight behind a mayor’s fundraising quest for the year.

Pupils at the Admiral Lord Nelson School, in Dundas Lane, Copnor, Portsmouth, are set to rally fellow school mates to help the city’s Lord Mayor, Councillor Ken Ellcome.

It comes after the first citizen visited the secondary’s school council, appealing for their support in his year-long effort to raise cash for three causes in the city.

And the 40 children from the pupil body – which has representatives from Years 7 to 11 – were inspired by his words and are now busy planning their own fundraising efforts.

Beth Harckham-Edwards, 15, is a senior prefect at the school and is one of the student council’s leaders.

The Year 11 student said: ‘Charity is a massive thing in our school. We already support sister schools in The Gambia. But people don’t just want to support something overseas, they want help locally too.

‘So having the Lord Mayor coming in was brilliant. He was able to talk about the charities that he supported – some of them we had never heard of. It was eye-opening.’

The school has been praised as a beacon of good international practice and has recently been named as a global learning expert centre for their efforts in fundraising for communities in The Gambia.

Julia Firth, director of personal development at Admiral Lord Nelson, said pupils were always eager to lend a helping hand to the needy.

She added a recent non-uniform day had raised more than £1,000 for charity, with a cake sale last month generating £160 for cancer cause, Macmillan.

Ms Firth said: ‘We support a lot of charities but what came from students is they wanted to support a local charity but weren’t sure where to start as Portsmouth has 600 charities. ‘

Cllr Ellcome said: ‘It’s great that they’re backing me. I really wanted to raise the profile of some of the charities in the city and the good work they’re doing. I’d love other schools to support me.’

The Lord Mayor’s three charities are Veteran’s Outreach Support, Headspace and the Elizabeth Foundation.

Mustafa Elyas, 15, another leader at the school council, said the group also intends to look at improving road safety outside the school as well as fundraising.