School goes on mass walk on Southsea Common in support of less fortunate children

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HUNDREDS of school girls have been walking along the Southsea seafront to raise money for less fortunate children.

Over 400 pupils from Portsmouth High School took part in the school’s annual 10k sponsored walk along Southsea’s seafront.

Portsmouth High School headteacher Jane Prescott with The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Lee Mason.'Picture: Sarah Standing (290319-4572)

Portsmouth High School headteacher Jane Prescott with The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Lee Mason.'Picture: Sarah Standing (290319-4572)

The walk was organised by the school’s sixth form, which each year selects a charity to benefit. All the money from this year’s event will go to support Children on the Edge – a charity for children who have been marginalised by conflict or political persecution.
Head girl Rachel Kellagher, 18, said: ‘It was a privilege to be able to lead the girls to raise money for children across the world who don’t have access to the same education and freedoms as we do.’

Year 11 student, Hope Glew, 15, added: ‘Students start to take part in the event from Year 5 and so this is my seventh year. It is something I look forward to every year. We are in a privileged position and so it is brilliant to be able to help children around the world who are less fortunate.’

Every student who took part in the walk donated £2 to the charity. However, the event was not just about fundraising, with pupils keen use the event to raise the profile of the One Campaign – a campaign group which lobbies parliaments and organisations around the world to eradicate global poverty.

Rachel said: ‘Today is also about raising awareness of the plight of children around the world. In the autumn we did a Skype session with the One Campaign where we looked at the emancipation of women and in particular child brides. We wanted to raise awareness of their role in putting pressure on governments to change political policy.’

The Portsmouth High School students on the seafront 'Picture: Sarah Standing (290319-4305)

The Portsmouth High School students on the seafront 'Picture: Sarah Standing (290319-4305)

Many staff from the school joined the children on the walk, including headmistress, Jane Prescott.

Mrs Prescott said: ‘The girls have a great empathy with those who do not have the same opportunities as them. Every year they raise money for a worthwhile cause and this year the girls really wanted to focus on a children’s charity which is why they opted for Children on the Edge and the One Campaign.

The walk was officially started by the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor Lee Mason.

Cllr Mason said: ‘It’s great to see so many people coming together for a good cause. The fact it is led by the students shows their independence and is a good sign for the future.’ 

The charity walk 'Picture: Sarah Standing (290319-4345)

The charity walk 'Picture: Sarah Standing (290319-4345)

Hope Glew.'Picture: Sarah Standing (290319-4588)

Hope Glew.'Picture: Sarah Standing (290319-4588)

Head girl Rachel Kellagher, 18.'Picture: Sarah Standing (290319-4288)

Head girl Rachel Kellagher, 18.'Picture: Sarah Standing (290319-4288)