Ottery pupils fly to India to transform school

King's school in Ottery. Ref sho 43 19TI 2428. Picture: Terry Ife

King's school in Ottery. Ref sho 43 19TI 2428. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Pupils in Ottery St Mary flew to visit a school in India this week as part of charity work to improve living conditions – with help from a Devon housebuilder.

Bovis Homes has donated £1,000 to the group of 17 students from The King's School, who will head out to the Goodwill Children's Home in Thandigudi in Tamil Nadu on Saturday (October 12).

The 17 and 18-year-olds, who have raised more than £10,000 over 12 months, will improve the living quarters of the primary school children, by decorating the living and sleeping areas.

They will also help improve classroom facilities and provide equipment, including pens and books, over their 12-day stay.

Pupil Naomi Gammon, 17, said: "We are so excited that, after working as a team to raise over £10,000 for Goodwill Children's Homes throughout the year, we will have the incredible opportunity to visit India and have a positive impact on the lives of the students in a more practical way."

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Esmee Gregorius, 17, said: "We are so grateful to Bovis Homes who, along with others, have enabled us to support Goodwill, and we look forward to seeing how the money raised can truly make a difference."

Their schoolmate Emily Hannon, 17, said all the fundraising, which included a car wash, a quiz night, cake sales and smoothie stalls at local school fetes, was worth it and the team had bonded well.

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Alison Argent-Wenz, head of house at The King's School, is leading the visit.

She said: "We cannot wait to get out there to provide much-needed support to these school children in India.

"Their facilities are a far cry from the classrooms and playgrounds we have here. Our students have worked for almost a year to raise funds for the charity, who provide care and education for destitute and orphaned children, and it will be incredible for them to see first-hand the difference that this money will make.

"As well as raising funds to support the work the charity do, we hope to be able to directly improve the accommodation and environment of the children at Thandigudi.

"We want to produce a mural in the children's communal area and, if we manage to raise a substantial amount, we can make lasting changes to the facilities at the school."

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