Caring Hartlepool schoolboy helps raise hundreds for Australia's animals after devastating bush fires

A Hartlepool primary school raised hundreds of pounds in a non-uniform day after a caring pupil was moved by the plight of animals caught up in Australia’s devastating bush fires.

Monday, 20th January 2020, 4:45 pm
West View Primary school pupil Lucas Simpson, six, (front centre) with money raised from a non-uniform day in aid of animals affected by Australia's fires, with his fellow classmates. Picture by FRANK REID

Six-year-old Lucas Simpson, who attends West View Primary School, was so shocked by TV footage of koalas, kangaroos and other species that have died, been injured or lost their homes in the blazes that he decided to do something to help.

He hit upon the idea of having a school non-uniform day and wrote a letter that was sent home to parents.

Lucas’s class teacher Katie Tailford said: “Lucas came in after the holidays and said he had been watching the news and had seen all the animals that had been caught up in the bush fires.

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“His mum said he had been quite upset and really wanted to do something to help them.

“Out of the blue he said it would be lovely if we could have a non-uniform day.

“We went to see the headteacher Mrs Haylock and she said it was a fantastic idea.”

Almost the whole school took part on Monday, January 13, and donations topped just over £440.

West View Primary school pupil Lucas Simpson (6) with his letter to parents about holding a non uniform day. Picture by FRANK REID

Donations ranged from pennies to £5 and £10 notes.

Miss Tailford added: “I was a bit taken aback for Lucas to be thinking of others on the other side of the world.

“But he is a very considerate and kind little boy so it’s not out of character for him.

“There has been lots of praise from staff and people in the local community saying it was such a lovely thing for him of think of.”

West View Primary school pupil Lucas Simpson (6) counting donations raised from a Non Uniform Day held at the school in aid for the Australian fire victims. Picture by FRANK REID

The money raised by the school is going to the World Wildlife Federation which is one of the leading animal charities involved in Australia’s wildlife relief efforts.

The WWF said: “It’s been estimated that around 1.25 billion animals have been killed across Australia to date.

“This includes thousands of koalas and other iconic species such as kangaroos, wallabies, kookaburras, cockatoos and honeyeaters, and many thousands more injured and homeless.”

West View Primary’s efforts come after Hartlepool woman Michelle Mcleod received an overwhelming response in her appeal to knit nests for animals affected by the fires.