FUNDRAISERS: (l-r) Zobia Bibi, 17; Nosheen Mahmood, 16; Zulaikhah Mahmood,18; Hafsa Begum,  18; Jeanette Moat (Save the Children); Urwah Islam, 17; Fayza Ahmed , 18; and Hadiah Khan, 17
FUNDRAISERS: (l-r) Zobia Bibi, 17; Nosheen Mahmood, 16; Zulaikhah Mahmood,18; Hafsa Begum, 18; Jeanette Moat (Save the Children); Urwah Islam, 17; Fayza Ahmed , 18; and Hadiah Khan, 17

A group of dedicated and motivated students from Laisterdyke College in Bradford have raised over £1,000 for Save The Children charity.

The group of girls, aged between 16 and 18, collected money over four days after planning the fundraiser for a number of weeks.

The girls hatched the plan to raise money in one of their ITC lessons and did not expect to raise more than £100.

Hafsa Begum, 18, Hadiah Khan, 17 and Fayza Ahmed, 18, collected some of the money from raffling off a giant chocolate hamper.

Hafsa said: “We went around the school and raised money by selling tickets to pupils and the teachers. We raised a large amount of money through that. We also sold food to the staff.”

The students even had the confidence to ask for donations from local businesses.

“We had to go around the businesses ourselves. We said we had a charity event going on and that we’d need some products from them. Quite a few businesses did donate,” said Hadiah.

Fayza added: “It was mostly supposed to be ‘post-16 years-old’ but the younger schools decided to get involved, too.”

The girls managed to bag products from ‘big’ names like Iceland and Crown Foods, as well as local companies like Raja’s.

They also brought food cooked from home and sold it to hungry students at lunchtime.

The charity project ‘started off small’ – then suddenly snowballed as more students got involved.

Hafsa said: “We kept reinvesting our money and doubling up our funds. The more money we invested, the more profit we made out of it.”

The young women want to do more charity work in the future. They didn’t expect to raise such a large amount of money and it has set a benchmark for the future.

“We want to go over the threshold,” said one of the girls.

With regards to their studies, raising large amounts of money for charity demonstrates that the girls have an entrepreneurial streak that will inevitably look impressive on their CVs.

Hafsa explained: “We can say that we’ve participated with organised charity events and if we decide to go into business or event management, it shows that we have the relevant skills.”

Save The Children’s Jeanette Moat was extremely impressed with what the students had achieved. She said: “This money will be paid into the Childrens’ Emergency Fund, which is a bank of money that the charity can call upon whenever there’s a disaster.

“The money is there ready, waiting to be used. As the charity responds to one or two disasters a week, the money won’t last that long but it will definitely achieve a great deal and make a huge difference to the lives of children.”

Hadiah said: “The more people that got involved, the more ideas we had and the more support we had from staff and pupils. If we didn’t have this support, we wouldn’t have been able to do it. The staff encouraged us so much.”

The college put a huge amount of time into researching the different charities and chose Save The Children because when they looked at other charities, they saw that they took a  bigger percentage of the money to pay for staff wages – and Save The Children only took one per cent.

Jeanette said: “That’s why I became involved with this charity because of the way that they use most of the money to help children directly.

“The charity takes so little out for ‘governance’ – which translates as staff wages and head office rents.”