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Meldrum Academy pupils 'Grow £5' into £1130 for Scotland Supporting Ukraine


By Lewis McBlane

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ENTERPRISING Aberdeenshire school pupils have grown £5 into a £1130 boost for Ukraine.

The team behind the Grow £5 fundraiser...(From left) Amanda Richardson, Lyla Davies, Alex Delhunty, Brody Penny, Steven Lewington, Jamie McDougall, Matthew Oliphant, Lillian King, Emlyn Jones, history teacher Emily Catton and head teacher Ian Jackson
The team behind the Grow £5 fundraiser...(From left) Amanda Richardson, Lyla Davies, Alex Delhunty, Brody Penny, Steven Lewington, Jamie McDougall, Matthew Oliphant, Lillian King, Emlyn Jones, history teacher Emily Catton and head teacher Ian Jackson

As part of a fundraising effort by Aberdeenshire charity Scotland Supporting Ukraine, pupils aged five-15 in Oldmeldrum, Oyne and Ellon were given £5 to grow into a big donation.

The top growers, an S2 group from Meldrum Academy, turned their £5 into £507.67 by doing a 16km sponsored walk, a raffle and a bake sale.

Made up of Alex Delahunty, Katie Duncan, Lyla Davies, Carla Shaw and Anna Duncan, the group went the extra mile for Ukraine.

Alex said: "We went around lots of houses near me and asked family and people to sponsor us and participate in our raffle.

"We were hoping that businesses would donate prizes to our raffle, so we emailed the Coop to see whether they would give us a prize and they did.

"So they sponsored us with some chocolates, and my parents and Lyla's parents donated some candles and stuff.

"Lyla's parents also live on a farm, so we thought one prize could be a tour of her farm and some eggs.

"The person who won the tour is very excited to go."

Going for a cautious approach, the group only spent £2.50 of their £5 to buy raffle tickets.

Alex said she was delighted about the hundred-fold increase to the initial £5.

She said: "We never thought people would donate that amount of money.

"We were hoping for a pound or two from each person, but the first house we went to gave us £42 off the bat.

"We are quite proud."

Class 4.4 at Meldrum Academy come together for the cause
Class 4.4 at Meldrum Academy come together for the cause

Another group from Meldrum Academy put plenty of graft into a car washing project.

Using their £5 to buy materials, Matthew Oliphant and Brody Penny organised a team to wash the cars of school staff on Thursday evenings.

Receiving rave reviews for their service along with Steven Lewington and Jamie McDougall, Brody and Matthew raised exactly £200 for two days of work.

Brody said: "We feel really happy to have raised the money we did."

Matthew said: "We did a car wash.

"It was £200 exactly that we managed to raise, and it feels really good."

Older pupils from Meldrum Academy Class 4.4 decided to grow their £5 collectively, as a class.

Organisers Emlyn Jones and Lillian King raised £92.63 with their effort.

Emlyn (15) said: "I sold sweetie cones. I bought sweets online and also the bags and packaging.
"Then I prepared them and sold them for a pound each.

"It is quite good to raise as much as we did, especially in such a short time.

"As a class, we did pretty much all of it by ourselves."

Lillian (14) said: "I ran the snack hamper and some other people ran a contest to guess how many sweets were in the jar.

"We collectively organised that as a class.

"That was just our profit too, there were a lot of individual deductions we had to make.

"So having even £90 in the end was really good.

"Even £1 can make a huge difference to one person's life.

"We had about a week of brainstorming, then a couple weeks of getting things together and a final week where we went round classes selling tickets and sweets."

Meldrum Academy head teacher Ian Jackson welcomed the efforts of the young people in raising cash for Ukraine.

He said: "We are trying to teach our pupils real skills for life.

"This fundraising shows they are picking up those skills, but also not just thinking about themselves, but also about the people of Ukraine.

"It is all on their own initiative.

"We also have a family who has come over, with a young person attending our school who speaks Russian.

"All the young people round about them have made a great effort and started learning Russian, even talking to our librarian for more resources.

"Really, I am well impressed with the enthusiasm and dedication of these youngsters

"Talents and determination like this can be one of those things that can stay hidden in a school setting."

Elsewhere Oyne Primary pupils raised £20 from selling sunflower seed in school while a guess the number of sweets competition in Ellon raised a spectacular £220.

Scotland Supporting Ukraine boss Amanda Richardson said: "I am so proud of all these young people.

"The commitment, effort and thought put into their fundraising is so inspiring.

"The money raised will be used to support our backpack appeal for children and young people, it will support our appeal to send aid to defenders and the military in Ukraine and also for essential aid."

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