YOUNGSTERS are bidding to get every school in Portsmouth behind a major fundraising day in aid of armed forces charity Help for Heroes.
Members of the Council of Portsmouth Schools – the body representing pupils in the city – have earmarked July 11 as the day when thousands of children should raise money for the cause.
Group chairman Hayden Taylor, a pupil at Admiral Lord Nelson School, will ask headteachers to consider a unanimous sponsored non-uniform day to run alongside their own fundraising ideas.
The 14-year-old said: ‘This is a landmark day for us because if this comes off then we could be looking at one of the most wide-reaching charity fundraisers this city has ever seen.
‘We hope we have shown our commitment to doing positive things in our great city.
‘I’ll be sending out letters to headteachers in all primary and secondary schools to get behind us.’
The 25-strong group chose Help for Heroes after hearing presentations from five charities including Cancer Research UK, Naomi House children’s hospice, the Hilsea Lido and Save the Children.
Hayden said the decision was ‘tough because all the charities are incredibly worthwhile’.
Steven McDermott, 14, from City Boys, added: ‘Even though I voted for Cancer Research UK I’m delighted with the outcome because they are all excellent charities.
‘It’s great to know that we as representatives of our schools and this city’s young generation can really make a difference.’
It is now down to individual schools to commit themselves to the charity day.
Group member Langstone Juniors pupil Matthew Williams, seven, said: ‘I’m so pleased Help for Heroes is our charity because without them there wouldn’t be a lot of support for soldiers that are wounded in war.’
Judy Horne, local co-ordinator for Help for Heroes, said she was ‘overwhelmed by the generosity’ of the children.
She added: ‘Help for Heroes is a fantastic charity that means a lot to Portsmouth where there are many navy families and I wish these children every success in pulling off the big charity event.’
Ben French, 16, a former Mayfield student who is in charge of culture issues on the PortsmouthYouth Parliament, said: ‘COPS representatives really did themselves proud.’