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Richard Whittington Primary School girls make their mark for Essex and Herts Air Ambulance




Three Bishop's Stortford schoolgirls who heard how the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance helped save the life of their teacher's son decided to use their artistic talents to raise money for the charity.

Zoe Elia, 11, Eleanor Doe, 10, and Jenny Hearn, 11, are pupils at Richard Whittington Primary School and spent the last few months creating bespoke bookmarks for fellow pupils, designed everything from tigers and spotty bookmarks to their friends' favourite characters and football teams. So far they have raised £187.

They were spurred on after hearing how their teacher Gemma Paine received help from the local helicopter emergency medical service two years ago when her then two-year-old son, Carter, had an accident at home.

Richard Whittington Primary School pupils raised funds for the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance by making and selling bookmarks – from left, Eleanor Doe, 10, Zoe Elia, 11, and Jenny Hearn, 11. Picture: Vikki Lince (49243273)
Richard Whittington Primary School pupils raised funds for the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance by making and selling bookmarks – from left, Eleanor Doe, 10, Zoe Elia, 11, and Jenny Hearn, 11. Picture: Vikki Lince (49243273)

Mrs Paine said: "We're so proud of the drive and determination our pupils have shown in their fantastic efforts to raise money for such an important charity. The air ambulance actually saved my own little boy’s life, and the fact that they've taken on the passion to want to give back is incredible."

Zoe's mum, Victoria, a wedding stationery designer, said the girls had thought of the idea themselves and worked hard to create the bookmarks to order.

"They visited each class and gave a presentation to show pupils what they were fundraising for and then sold bespoke bookmarks and their own selection of designs for £1 each," she said.

Richard Whittington Primary School pupils raised money for Essex and Herts Air Ambulance by making and selling bookmarks – from left, Eleanor Doe, 10, Zoe Elia, 11, and Jenny Hearn, 11. Picture: Vikki Lince (49243267)
Richard Whittington Primary School pupils raised money for Essex and Herts Air Ambulance by making and selling bookmarks – from left, Eleanor Doe, 10, Zoe Elia, 11, and Jenny Hearn, 11. Picture: Vikki Lince (49243267)

"We're just really proud of them. They've done it all off their own bat, we haven't helped them at all, and Mrs Paine was really proud of them too."

The school held a virtual auction after pupils contacted local businesses for donations. Money raised will go towards the final total.

Natasha Robertson, fundraising manager for Essex and Herts Air Ambulance, said: "On behalf of our staff, crew and patients that we support, I'd like to thank the girls for their fantastic fundraising.

"Pupils and staff at Richard Whittington have been long-standing supporters of our charity and it's always wonderful to hear about pupils getting involved.

"The girls are great ambassadors and have shown fantastic initiative in helping promote awareness and much-needed funds in aid of EHAAT. Thank you, girls, we really do appreciate your support."



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