Dress-down day helps charities

Pupils at KEVI with cheques for �500 each to go to Barnabas Safe and Sound and the Northubmerland Blind Association after they held a non-uniform day.  Pictured are (l-r) Lorena Scarpa, Emily Gray and Richard Russell.
Pupils at KEVI with cheques for �500 each to go to Barnabas Safe and Sound and the Northubmerland Blind Association after they held a non-uniform day. Pictured are (l-r) Lorena Scarpa, Emily Gray and Richard Russell.

DRESSING down has built up funds for two Morpeth charities after local pupils offered their support.

King Edward VI School (KEVI) has donated £500 each to Northumberland County Blind Association (NCBA) and Barnabas Safe and Sound from funds raised in a recent non-uniform day.

Year 11 KEVI pupil Richard Russell nominated NCBA for the cash after interviewing a service user and staff for a school project.

Chief Executive Lorraine Dryden said: “The association delivers the Northumberland Rehabilitation Service, including mobility, orientation and Braille training funded by Northumberland County Council. However, the association relies heavily on grant applications, legacies, fundraising events and donations to deliver its voluntary services, such as vision impairment awareness training, home visiting, volunteer drivers, Socialeyes and Sightline, a telephone peer support service.

“We are currently struggling to set up an Introduction to IT course. Whilst we have secured funding to buy computers, work stations and adaptive software, we have been unable to date to attract funding for provision of an IT tutor.

“Communication is vital to everybody on a day-to-day basis, as a route into employment and in education, particularly to those with sensory loss.

“One of the first tasks for our newly established fundraising committee will be to launch an appeal to fund the post and it has been decided that this generous donation from the pupils of King Edward VI School will be attributed to the appeal.”

She added: “It has been a pleasure to work in partnership with the school and with Richard, who has interviewed a vision-impaired service user, rehabilitation team member and me to feed into his coursework. We wish him well for the future and look forward to continuing to contribute to the curriculum.”

Barnabas works in partnership with the school on a number of initiatives for young people and its climbing wall was used for a Student Voice conference involving KEVI, Newminster, Chantry and Dr Thomlinson schools.

Manager Chris Menzies said: “Barnabas Safe and Sound increasingly relies on donations to enable it to provide much needed services and facilities which benefit young people in Morpeth and it is heartening to see students so keen to support a local charity and make a difference in their own community.”

This funding adds to the £3,195 that the youth charity received from former Morpeth Mayor Phil Taylor, collected at events and activities during his year in the position such as the Mayor’s Ball. It will go towards a new mini-bus.

“We really appreciate the generosity of Morpeth residents and businesses and we’re very grateful to Coun Taylor for the efforts he has made to raise a lot of money for us,” said Mr Menzies.