Caring Gants Hill pupils win cash for charity

First Give winners, Nafisa Ahmed, Akvile Gradauskaite, and Fareen Ahmed, being presented with a cheq

First Give winners, Nafisa Ahmed, Akvile Gradauskaite, and Fareen Ahmed, being presented with a cheque for the chosen charity, ELHAP - Credit: Anthony Michael

Passionate about making a change in their community, Year 9 pupils pitched presentations to a panel of judges for the chance to win large sums of cash for charity.

Valentines High School First Give runners up with a cheque for �250 for the Camden Safety Net

Valentines High School First Give runners up with a cheque for �250 for the Camden Safety Net - Credit: Anthony Michael

The youngsters, made up of six teams, from Valentines High School, Cranbrook Road, Gants Hill, were taking part in the First Give initiative - a scheme to help teenagers identify social issues and engage with charities to address them.

A first prize of £1,000 was awarded to Akvile Gradauskaite, Fareen Ahmed and Nafisa Ahmed who chose to represent ELHAP in Roding Lane North, Woodford Bridge.

Fareen said: “We wanted to choose a charity that is unique and worked with helping children.

“We really wanted to focus on younger children, we felt that we could connect with them.”

Valentines High School First Give runners up with a cheque for �250 for the SHP charity

Valentines High School First Give runners up with a cheque for �250 for the SHP charity - Credit: Anthony Michael


You may also want to watch:


The charity, which has been running since 1976, provides adventure play opportunities to disabled and disadvantaged children and adults.

Akvile said: “It was a really great feeling [to have won]. Competitors were tough and it was hard, we put a lot of effort into it.”

Most Read

Teacher Neil McPherson added: “It was fantastic to have one of their [ELHAP] representatives here to witness such an extraordinary afternoon and to be presented with such a generous cheque.”

A panel that featured Cllr Gurdial Bhamra, Mayor of Redbridge, and a representative from the Jack Petchey Foundation judged the competition.

They hear about other charities including Hopes and Dreams, Barnardos, Camden Safety Net (CSN) and Single Homeless Project (SHP).

The pupils that represented CSN and SHP were runners up and each team received a cheque for £250 for their charity.

“Everyone was given invaluable feedback by the Redbridge mayor to aid future presentational work, which I know they all really appreciated,” continued Mr McPherson.

“A big thank you to everyone at First Give for making all this possible and of course a massive well done to all our grand finalists on such an amazing achievement.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter