School goes wacky for charity appeals

Students and staff from St. Mary's Catholic Academy held a fund-raising day for Catholic aid agency CAFOD's Harvest appeal

Students and staff from St. Mary's Catholic Academy held a fund-raising day for Catholic aid agency CAFOD's Harvest appeal

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Schools are well known for frowning upon youngsters who turn up to class with wacky and weird hairstyles.

But one Blackpool secondary school and Sixth Form actively encouraged it recently – and it was all for a good cause.

Pupils aged from 11 to 18 at St Mary’s Catholic Academy in St Walburga’s Road, Blackpool, donned bright clothes and face paint, temporarily dyed their hair, and even held an eyeshadow art competition.

They were raising money for child victims of crime and gang violence in El Salvador, as well as supporting refugees fleeing war-torn Syria, and even the staff joined in.

School chaplain Katy Lowrey said: “Everyone has had loads of fun and we’ve also managed to raise lots of money for the Harvest appeal.

“It was great seeing everyone with their face painted or their nails done, or wearing their bright green wristband.

“It’s been particularly hilarious seeing the lads having their nails done as well.”

Katy said pupils have spent time in class talking about the refugee crisis in the Middle East, which has been a hot topic on the news and social media sites and dominating the political agenda.

“It was an issue that people felt very strongly about, and they wanted to respond to the crisis,” she said. “We’ve been praying and reflecting on the refugee crisis and how we, as Christians, can respond. It’s been very inspiring to see the whole academy, from staff to students, getting involved with the great work CAFOD do.”

CAFOD has been helping those affected by the Syrian war since 2012, and is also highlighting the work it is doing in El Salvador to provide children with havens to work and play.

The charity’s Blackpool coordinator Patrick Gardner said: “Every young person has the right to live without fear.

“Growing up in a peaceful environment is more than just growing up away from conflict, it is about us having safe places to go to school, make friends, and achieve our full potential. We would like to say a huge thanks to all the students at St Mary’s for their generosity and for helping to bring about a bit more peace in the world.”

The total amount has already passed the £950 mark.