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Altrincham student's fundraising success for Afrocats

Students at Altrincham Grammar School for Girls are determined that asylum seekers and refugees in Greater Manchester get a warm welcome. To achieve this they have been fundraising for a local charity, Afrocats. The whole of Year 9 at Altrincham Grammar School took part in the First Give programme, where students investigated social issues and met with local charities that addressed those issues in their community. Through participation in the First Give programme, students from one class were inspired by the work of Afrocats and took on several initiatives to raise over £2000 for the people that Afrocats support.

Latest Home Office figures show that 11,715 asylum seekers are receiving Home Office support in the North West. Currently, asylum seekers receiving that support get £45 per week to pay for everything from food, toiletries, clothing, data and transport. That’s 82% less than a single person would receive on Universal Credit. But many of the women Afrocats support are living without financial asylum support and a large proportion are living in Home Office hotels without access to culturally appropriate food.

Matilda, one of the students who participated in First Give said: “We researched local charities and felt that Afrocats was perfect and represented what we wanted to achieve. They are a new and fairly small charity which needs money to help support all the special things they do for asylum seekers and refugees.”

Sophie, another student fundraising for Afrocats said: “We learnt that many refugees and people seeking asylum are isolated, lonely and scared. We wanted to support Afrocats because of the work they do to help people who are seeking asylum and have fled their country - it is impossible to do that without support from the public.”

After learning about the hardships refugees and asylum seekers face when arriving in the UK and how meaningful the money would be for Afrocats, the students set up fundraising initiatives including a brownie sale, movie night and dance workshop raising an impressive £1089. The class also successfully won the First Give Final, securing a further £1000 for Afrocats. But that wasn’t enough for the students, who went on to collect toiletries for 30 wellbeing packages and toys for the children accessing Afrocats programmes.

Magdalen Bartlett, Afrocats' CEO and founder, who has her own story of migration, knows first-hand how much of a difference the fundraising will make:

“People arriving in the UK experience culture shock and extreme isolation so for them to know that young people are thinking about them will make a huge difference. The fundraising efforts by the students at Altrincham Grammar School have been incredibly successful and we’re very grateful for their support.”

Isaac Jones, First Give Deputy Director, said:

“Through the First Give programme over 16,000 students have carried out social action to support their local community. The students at Altrincham Grammar School are an example of how passionate young people in the UK are to make a positive difference and help to tackle some of our most pressing social issues.”

If you are looking to partner with a charity so your school community can give back, we'd love to hear from you. Find out the different ways you can support Afrocats.


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