Passionate pitch from Gants Hill students helps Woodford Green hospice

A passionate plea from Gants Hill pupils has resulted in a Woodford Green hospice benefiting from �3,000.

Year 9 students at Valentines High School, Cranbrook Road, made presentations to judges on Tuesday seeking support for local charities.

And the winning group’s efforts ensured the Haven House Children’s Hospice in High Road will now receive the boost from the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI).

After hustings were held involving 180 pupils in the year, six groups made it through to Tuesday’s final at the school.

In front of the school’s headteacher Sylvia Jones, Roland Freeman, head of year 9, and Alex Reynolds, YPI’s director, the groups made their cases.

Some presentations were in dramatic form with role plays and the winning group included a poem in their pitch.

Thameena Patel, 14, from the winning group, said: “When we saw the name of the chosen charity, I jumped up screaming with so much excitement.”

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Mr Freeman said: “It was an excellent initiative that increased students’ awareness of social issues affecting the community in Redbridge whilst also increasing their confidence and team work.”

The pupils previously did workshops with the YPI on how to give presentations.

Mr Reynolds said: “They were excellent, they were really passionate pupils.”