Tutor Group Steps up to Support Ukraine

A teacher and her tutor group at Ballakermeen have raised over £1,200 for the British Red Cross’ relief work in Ukraine.

Amy Shelton and her Year 11s have raised money through a variety of events including a raffle, bake sale and milkshake stand, all supported by local firms.

The students and their teacher returned from their February half-term having seen the devastation in Ukraine on the TV and online and after discussing it during form time they decided they wanted to do something, no matter how small, to help people.

Their first efforts saw them collecting items for Ukraine, which were donated through the Manx Refugee Support and The Joey Dunlop Foundation, which has carried on the King of the Mountain’s work helping those who need it most.

Amy said: ‘When we returned to school after the February half term, the whole form agreed that we should do something to try and help refugees fleeing the conflict. We made paper refugees and wrote about their needs. We decided to collect some material goods; camping gear, warm clothes and baby items to send to the Ukraine border. We are grateful to Manx Refugee Support and The Joey Dunlop Foundation for taking our collection along with the many other donations from the Manx community. We then voted on a charity to support with financial donations. We voted for the Red Cross and started to develop ideas on how to raise funds. Our first event was a mothers’ day raffle. We were generously supported by the business community and were able to offer some amazing prizes, with donations from Mannin Hotel, The Ellan Vannin Hotel, The Claremont, Harbour Lights at The Sefton, Flo the Coffee Van, The Welbeck Hotel, Shoprite, Robinsons, the staff of Clintons, Illusion Creative Beauty and their team, Utopia, Purite, Salt Beauty and The Copy Shop. The raffle was a sell-out success raising £1000 for The Red Cross.

‘We then held some events in school; firstly a sunflower competition, as sunflowers are the national flower of Ukraine. We are very grateful to the sponsors of this event; Alexander Nurseries, Rileys Garden centre and those businesses that have provided prizes for the tallest plant; Milntown, Southern Home and Garden Centre, Ballanelson Nursery and Ballagawne Garden Nursery. We also made sunflower badges and sold these for a donation. Over the last week we have held both a bake sale and a milkshake bar in school. The cakes were baked or donated by staff and students and the milkshake bar has been proudly supported by The Creamery, Gellings and Agrimark, for which we are incredibly grateful.

‘On Friday we held a special Hillary House assembly, with a guest speaker, Amie Mitchell of the Red Cross, who explained their work on island and their involvement in the Ukraine conflict. We were very pleased to present her with the cheque from the mothers day raffle and proud to receive certificates for our contribution. Meanwhile, 11HC4 are continuing their fund raising efforts with icecream sale next half term and a fathers’ day raffle on the 17th of June. Tickets are £1 and are available from Ballakermeen High School.’

Head Teacher, Adrienne Burnett, commented: ‘In these challenging times for both businesses and individual families, it was heart-warming to see the whole community, at short notice, rally around our young people and want to support them in making a difference to those in Ukraine who are suffering. We are very fortunate to live on this wonderful and compassionate island.’

Mrs Shelton will also be taking on a sponsored dip in June, which she says she is ‘genuinely’ terrified of. You can donate to that by clicking here.