Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pupil Makes a Splash to Help out Water Charity

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pupil Makes a Splash to Help out Water Charity

Article excerpt

Byline: Sean Seddon Reporter

ASCHOOLGIRL is making a big splash with her impressive fundraising efforts - and the donations are flooding in.

Six-year-old Jessie Morris, a Year One student at St Margaret's Primary School in Durham, is raising money for WaterAid.

And she's figured out a way of getting her classmates involved too.

The children had the morning off to don their wellies and stomp around in a giant puddle - helpfully provided by Durham Fire Service - in exchange for a PS1 donation.

The fun event raised about PS200 for WaterAid, a national charity which aims to provide clean drinking water to impoverished areas around the world.

Her mum, Anna Barker, 41, remembers the moment Jessie caught the fundraising bug.

"We were at home one day and she saw a WaterAid advert on the TV and was really moved by it," she said. "She came up to me and said 'what can we do about it?'.

"She was really shocked that it was so unfair that some people in the world don't have clean water to drink, that they have to drink water that could kill them.

"She was horrified by that." But, rather than just forget it, young Jessie decided she had to do something about it.

Anna said: "She just kind of disappeared into the next room for a couple of minutes and I discovered she was writing a letter to the headteacher asking for a meeting to see if she could get the school involved."

Backed by mum Anna and dad Daniel Morris, Jessie convinced her headteacher and the school's governors to support her campaign. Headteacher Helen McDaid, who has been at St Margaret's for one year, said that she hadn't seen anything quite like Jessie's event in 20 years of working in education.

"The children loved it," she said.

Dan Hodgson, crew manager County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, said: "We were contacted by Jessie and her headteacher via a letter to the fire service asking if we could help raise awareness about the Water Aid charity. …

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