Students at a school in Roundhay have been leaving their ‘footprints’ on the lives of local Syrian refugees this month as they managed to turn pennies into pounds to raise a ‘shoebox’ full of money.
Young people and staff at Allerton Grange High School, anchored by the money-raising talents of Maths HLTA, Fatma Ali, managed to accumulate over £1,000.
At the heart of the fundraising efforts was a cupcake and samosa sale, which ran throughout a school day earlier this month.
Sixth former at the school, Sabah Parveen, 17, said: “It went really well. The money raised will go towards helping those who have been displaced by war.”
Christina Nagle is a Year 7 form tutor at Allerton grange and leads the student council.
With a representative from each form making up the student body, Ms Nagle said the efforts of the students helped to make the day a success.
“Each year group meets on a different morning yet all of them were more than happy to help when they heard about the foodie fundraising,” she said.
“Pupils made posters; they spread the word, they collected forms and brought in dried food. It was the students that made it the success it was and the kids love fundraising.”
The idea for the project came about after Fatma says she was constantly seeing images of deprivation, war and poverty in Syria.
After considering ways of helping, it was decided that ‘charity starts at home’ and therefore the local Syrian refugees could be the beneficiaries of any fundraising efforts.
Fatma said: “After seeing the troubles in Syria, I thought to myself, let me cook some food. I prepped the menu a week before for all the teachers to order what they wished from me.
“It was a fantastic event. I couldn’t believe how much we raised. It was hard work, I didn’t sleep the whole of Sunday evening but I thought, for Syria we can do anything.
“The food was amazing, every department had a feast.”
Fatma eventually cooked up over 1,000 Egyptian style meals from her kitchen at home which staff described as ‘utterly delicious’.
Fatma continued: “It took the whole week to raise the money.
“We collected £400 on the Monday and from then, every day in the morning we collected money in the form time. Thank you so much to the staff and kids.”
The cheque was written for the Hamara Healthy Living Centre and Give a Gift Foundation which helps refugees in the local area.
The money will go towards helping Syrians who live in the local area, and also Iraqi, Lebanese, Eritrean and Sudanese families.
Rifhat Malik from Give a Gift said: “We want to thank Fatma and the school for an outstanding and overwhelming effort.
“We want to continue to do more work with Allerton Grange, thank you so much.”
Nabila Karim from Hamara added: “When Fatma came to us she was literally carrying a shoebox full of money.
“All the money was in pound coins and pennies. It goes to show that when people put their effort and commitment into something they can achieve so much.”