‘Generous’ people of Harrogate raise more than £15,000 for Nepal

Rossett School sixth formers James Robertson-Major, Sarah Littlejohn, Rina Biswakarma and Alice McAvoy raising money for the Nepal earthquake appeal with a cake stall. (S)
Rossett School sixth formers James Robertson-Major, Sarah Littlejohn, Rina Biswakarma and Alice McAvoy raising money for the Nepal earthquake appeal with a cake stall. (S)

More than £15,000 has been raised by the people of Harrogate to support Nepal as it rebuilds after suffering two earthquakes.

Faced with the destruction of buildings and the massive loss of life in Nepal after two earthquakes in the space of a fortnight, communities are now rebuilding their country and their lives.

Profoundly aware of the horror they have faced and the difficult work in front of them, the people of Harrogate have made tremendous contributions that will no doubt help in the months to come.

A ‘Kids Aloud’ concert organised by the Rotary Club of Harrogate Brigantes raised £10,000, which will be split between its Changing Young Lives in Nepal project, and one to provide sustainable clean water in Africa.

In addition, a dedicated Nepal earthquake appeal has so far raised £4,200 and plans are being drawn up for a major charity dinner at the Crown Hotel in the autumn which president-elect Guy Wilson hopes will ‘significantly add to this total’.

He said: “We have made a very good start thanks to the generosity of the people of Harrogate.”

And personal connections to communities affected by the Nepal earthquakes have prompted Rossett School students to give their all to the fundraising efforts, collecting £2,479.

Sixth form student Rina Biswarkana, 17, is originally from Nepal and moved to the UK when she was eight, but still has family members living there. When she heard about the first earthquake, which led to more than 3,000 deaths, she knew she wanted to raise money to help and organised a cake stall.

Rina said: “It was terrifying when we heard about the earthquake.

“It took a couple of days for my parents to manage to contact all their relatives, but eventually we found out they were all safe. However, they are still struggling with the aftershocks and the impact on the phone lines and supplies.

“I felt completely helpless sitting here unable to do anything, so I knew straight away I wanted to raise money for the relief effort.”

Despite her A level exams coming up this month, Rina organised the stall with friends and was thrilled with the support from fellow students and staff.

Rossett School also has a partner programme with a school in Nepal, set up through Rotary International. Confirmation was quickly received that the students and staff had not been directly affected by the earthquake, though the school has been closed until the situation improves.

Year 8 students have now written to their pen pals at Panchamool High School in Nepal to let them know that everyone at Rossett is thinking of them and doing what they can to help. A nonuniform day has been held and, combined with Rina’s cake stall, the fundraising total will be donated to the Nepal earthquake appeal.

Headteacher Helen Woodcock said: “We were all shocked and very concerned for our Nepalese friends when we heard about the devastating earthquake.

“It was an enormous relief to hear our partner school was intact and its staff and students safe, but of course there are many people who haven’t been so fortunate. Rina’s cake stall was a great success and we have added to her fundraising total with a nonuniform day.

“Rossett students have also written to their friends in Nepal to offer their support and encouragement as the country begins to recover from this terrible event. It is difficult to watch it all unfold from a distance, but we are doing all we can to make a difference to the people of Nepal.”

St Aidan’s also raised more than £3,800 for the earthquake appeal.