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Ballard School pupils ask for charity donations instead of birthday presents

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THREE girls raised £1,000 for Oakhaven Hospice by holding a joint birthday party where guests were invited to donate to charity instead of bringing presents.

Elizabeth Smith, Lucy Fowler and Lucia Dunning, who are all Year 5 pupils at Ballard School, had hoped to raise £100. But friends were so generous they ended up collecting 10 times their target.

To celebrate their 10th birthdays, they organised a disco and set up a fundraising webpage so friends could donate to a good cause.

Elizabeth Smith, Lucy Fowler and Lucia Dunning present their cheque to Jill West from Oakhaven
Elizabeth Smith, Lucy Fowler and Lucia Dunning present their cheque to Jill West from Oakhaven

Their generosity was praised by head master Andrew McCleave, who said: “I truly was delighted to hear of this kind and selfless gesture by these three friends who, instead of thinking of their own wish lists on their birthdays, put others before themselves and chose to raise money for a very good cause.

“I’m very proud of them and hope their example might inspire others in the school community and beyond it to find a way to ‘pay it forward’ too. Well done girls – and happy birthday.”

Jill West, head of fundraising at Oakhaven, was presented with the cheque when she came to visit the girls at school.

She said: “A huge thank you to Elizabeth, Lucy and Lucia for raising this money – giving up their birthday presents to help others is an act of real kindness and generosity and we’re all incredibly touched by it."

Mr McCleave added: “At Ballard School, developing character and helping children grow into good people as well as able scholars is at the heart of our approach, and these girls exemplify our values of kindness and service to others.

"Our Lower Prep pupils learn about charitable causes and how they can help as part of their Life Skills education – we are delighted to see that these lessons have had an impact on our pupils.

To donate visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/l-f3?utm

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