Bentley Wood Girls pledge £1,000 for Syrian babies

 Hasna, Thilothy, Maryam, Meena, Shaliha

 Inspiring students Hasna, Thilothy, Maryam, Meena, and Shaliha went the extra mile for their chosen charity on the First Give programme. Inspired by a team member’s sister pledging to raise £5,000 at a fundraising event, they decided to raise £1,000 for Syrian babies through their chosen charity, Islamic Help.

“I feel like I’m wasting my time if I’m not helping people.”

Discovering the suffering amongst Syrian babies and mothers, the girls delved into organising events to raise money. “We did three cake sales. One of our team members even made Oreo milkshakes! We also did a jewellery sale and a sponsored silence.”

“Once it started, we didn’t want it to stop, we had so much fun”

The girls really enjoyed fundraising for their charity and are so passionate about the cause. “We were not going to stop until we raised at least £1,000 - having that goal was really motivating. We felt really happy because we were doing good for someone else.”

"We are so grateful for this opportunity"

As well as the fundraising, the girls realised that they had to turn their attention to their presentation for the School Final, as one top prize of £1,000 and two prizes of £250 were up for grabs for the 3 best presentations. This opportunity was made possible thanks to The Jack Petchey Foundation. Jack Petchey believes in giving young people the opportunity and skills to make a difference.

The girls admitted they were not natural presenters and they were, "so thankful to First Give for teaching them presentation skills." Their presentation included a charity interview, audience participation and a powerful section where the audience were asked to close their eyes and imagine giving birth with the sound of bombs and screaming around them.

The presentation went down so well that the girls won a £250 First Give grant for Islamic Help. Afterwards they said, "It feels really good, we are so grateful for this opportunity. We want to do it all over again! We will not stop our efforts, we will keep going."

“The skills that we learnt from First Give can be used in real life situations”

“We gained more confidence, we feel like we accomplished something in life.” Hasna said “I learnt self-control as I like to speak a lot, but within a team you have to listen”.

The girls raised a whopping £1,050, surpassing their goal. With the extra £250 grant from First Give, this puts the girls’ final fundraising figure at £1,300. But they won’t stop there!

“We will keep on supporting our charity and help other charities”

Their advice to young people who are doing the First Give programme? “Even if you’ve never done anything like this before, just take the opportunity and get involved – it’s a nice feeling, you love it, you don’t want to stop.”  Well said girls!