A Jewish school in Barkingside welcomed Countdown presenter Rachel Riley as the special guest at a fundraising Shabbat Dinner on Friday.

Clore Tikva School on Fullwell Avenue organised the event as part of a fundraising drive to help the school cover the unforeseen costs of Covid-19.

On the evening, Ms Riley spoke about her career, passion for education, Strictly Come Dancing, and work to combat the rise in antisemitism across the country.

She said: “It was a pleasure to attend the Shabbat Dinner, I am always very keen to support our schools.

“Clore Tikva is a school that I am particularly pleased to support, especially as it's very close to where my mother grew up and therefore I wanted to give back to the community.”

Laurence and Yochy Davis, who hosted the dinner, have a grandchild at the school and said they were "delighted" to offer their hospitality to the star.

Yochy Davis became known during the pandemic for her Made With Love Chicken Soup, which she delivered to up to 100 households across Essex and beyond.

She said: "My son was one of the first years when the school opened and to see my grandchildren now attending is wonderful.

“The school is so important to the community and when I hear how much my granddaughter loves the school I wanted to do all I could to ensure the school’s success in the long-term.”

Margot Buller, headteacher at Clore Tikva, said: “We are so grateful to all the community for the work they are doing to ensure the sustainable future of our wonderful school.

“Tonight’s dinner has been an ideal opportunity to celebrate Shabbat together, recognise the unique community of which Clore Tikva is the heart, and help us raise significant funds to help support us through what has been an incredibly difficult year for our pupils, staff and community.

“To have the support of Rachel Riley was really wonderful and we are so grateful that she was able to join us on the night.

“Rachel is passionate about supporting STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) among young people and to hear from her directly about the work she is doing to help promote this was inspiring.”