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Fairy tale inspires school children to raise money for people experiencing homelessness

Wednesday, 19 July, 2023

Children in years 1 and 2 at Windmill Primary School in Headington raised money for Homeless Oxfordshire after reading fairy tales in class inspired them to help.

While reading Norwegian fairy tale The Three Billy Goats Gruff, the classes of five- and six-year-olds decided the character of the troll who lives under the bridge in the story might be homeless.

Teacher Laura Atkinson said: “Rather than the children seeing the troll as a bad, fearsome character, they thought he might be in need of help and support.”

Six-year-old Etta said: “I always thought the troll in the fairy tale may be homeless. We need to be fair and not judge a character.”

The class discovered that 28,000 people are experiencing homelessness in the UK, and felt compelled to help.

Joshua, also aged six, said: “We need to help the homeless because if we don’t the world won’t be happy.”

Ms Atkinson said: “The children decided they wanted to hold a sale of things they have made to raise money for people locally who might need support, like they felt the troll does. They ended up raising over £160 which they have chosen to donate to Homeless Oxfordshire.”

Homeless Oxfordshire is the county’s largest supported accommodation provider, and offers individualised services such as substance recovery, clinical psychology sessions, and trauma support.

CEO, Simon Hewett-Avison, said: “We are so grateful to the children of Windmill Primary School, and we applaud their kindness and generosity.”

He added: “The children are right: people experiencing homelessness may need help and support. People using our services have often experienced severe trauma and everyone’s journey through homelessness is unique, so our flexible support reflects that.

“The funds raised by the children will go directly towards supporting the people using our services – £150 will provide a resident with three meals a day for two weeks.”

Sue Soffe, Community and Events Fundraiser at Homeless Oxfordshire (pictured with Joshua, Etta and Issac from Year 1) visited the school to thank the children for their donation and talked to the pupils about homelessness and Homeless Oxfordshire’s work.

She said: “It is never too early to start discussing subjects such as homelessness with young people. It is amazing how insightful their views are – we are very often the ones learning from them.”

If you would like to find out more about Homeless Oxfordshire, or to donate, please click here.

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