Southsea pupils get cosy to raise Rowans cash

ALL DRESSED UP Pupils at St John's College in Southsea dressed in onesies for the day to raise money for The Rowans Hospice which looked after pupil Matilda Wright's late mum Cia. Headteacher Tony Shrubsall with pupils and Matilda, third from the right. Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (133080-1)

ALL DRESSED UP Pupils at St John's College in Southsea dressed in onesies for the day to raise money for The Rowans Hospice which looked after pupil Matilda Wright's late mum Cia. Headteacher Tony Shrubsall with pupils and Matilda, third from the right. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (133080-1)

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STAFF and pupils ditched their suits and school uniforms for a day and replaced them with onesies to support a young girl who lost her mum to cancer.

The all-in-one outfits were seen across the junior school at St John’s College in Southsea.

The event was organised by 10-year-old Matilda Wright in a bid to raise cash for The Rowans Hospice.

It comes after her mum Cia, 44, died after battling cancer over the summer.

Matilda, who lives in Drayton, said: ‘I wanted to organise it because I wanted to give money to The Rowans as my mum died there.

‘They were really good and they do lots of things for people whose parents have died.

‘The onesie day was really good. There were lots of different onesies. Mum would have liked it.’

Matilda’s grandad, Gerry Wright, 71, added: ‘It’s wonderful. It just shows that she’s coping with the situation well.

‘At the moment, she’s recovered better than the rest of the family put together.’

Mr Wright said that the charity has been incredibly supportive.

‘It’s the support that they have given to her and the rest of the family.

‘You wouldn’t believe how good she is now compared to the first three or four weeks.

‘The counsellor has been absolutely marvellous.’

Headteacher Tony Shrubsall was among those to take part, dressing as a tiger which encouraged lots of donations from colleagues at the school.

He said: ‘She has been supported well by The Rowans.

‘She wanted to give something back.

‘She came to me and asked if we could have a onesie day.

‘The costume has been drawing an awful lot of attention to the charity.

‘It’s been a great conversation starter for the children.

‘It’s unlike me to dress up for anything so it’s possibly the first time the children have seen me out of a shirt and tie.

‘It’s caused a great amount of excitement.’

All children across the school took part in the challenge, wearing a variety of different outfits, including many animals.

Mr Shrubsall added The Rowans Hospice is a great charity to support.

‘What we have been amazed with is the one-to-one support that they have offered with a child counsellor,’ he said.

‘For a 10-year-old girl it’s a very difficult time in her life.

‘The support that she has been offered has been absolutely outstanding.

‘Organising this has given her a huge amount of confidence.’

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