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Youngsters at Sunderland school go the extra mile to raise money for Ukrainian refugee families

Sixth Form students at Portland Academy have been going the extra mile to show their support for the people of Ukraine by taking part in a sponsored walk to raise money for refugee families.

By Neil Fatkin
Thursday, 7th April 2022, 12:25 pm

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Caring teenagers at the school, which educates children with multiple and severe learning needs, decided to organise the walk after seeing the harrowing images of people fleeing the war-torn country which is besieged by Russian forces.

This week has seen 35 youngsters in three different classes taking part in a one hour walk around the school’s bike track.

As well as raising sponsorship, during the walk the teenagers carried Ukrainian flags and collection buckets for people to make donations.

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Year 13 student Cameron Todd, 17, said: “It has been quite stressful watching the TV and upsetting to see people suffering and so I just wanted to do my bit to help.

“If I was in their position I wouldn’t like it and I really feel sorry for all the families losing their homes and relatives who are having to fight.”

Classmate David Ambler, 18, added: “I feel really sad for the people of Ukraine. Their houses have been bombed and they have been left with very little.”

Students from Portland Academy taking part in a sponsored walk to raise money for refugee families fleeing war-torn Ukraine.

The thoughtful youngsters’ exploits have raised £195 for the charity Families of the Ukraine which provides support to refugees seeking sanctuary.

Joshua Binsley, 18, said: “I really enjoyed the walk and I am proud of the money we have raised. I saw the pictures of the people on the television and wanted to do something to help.

"I wouldn’t want to be in that situation.”

Student Joshua Binsley, 18, said he was "proud" of the money he had raised.

Sixth Form teacher Gavin Jackson was particularly impressed with the empathy that students have shown for the children and young people of Ukraine.

He said: “As a school we are really proud of the students. They all have varying needs but all took part in the one hour walk. This walk was all their idea and they have shown a real empathy for what young people and children in Ukraine are experiencing.

"They have seen the footage on the news and we have discussed what it would be like if it happened to them. I think it was seeing the images of young children suffering which really got their attention.”