The Star – Sheffield-based Project Paddington launches new initiative

Kind Sheffield mums who helped to collect thousands of teddy bears for refugee children are urging people to behind their latest initiative.

Hundreds of schools, nurseries and groups across the country have taken part in Project Paddington and helped collect more than 25,000 bears which have been sent to refugees.

Almost £40,000 was also raised for refugee projects.

Now the collection has finished, those behind the project have launched a new initiative.

What Would You Take? Day encourages children and young people to think of the one thing they would take from their home if they had to leave because it was not safe.

Judith Jones, Project Paddington communications director, said: “We want children and young people to empathise with refugees.

“This is an opportunity to raise awareness as well as vital funds for refugee projects.”

The team are busy preparing a resources pack, fundraising ideas, lessons and assemblies for schools and groups that want to take part on Friday, January 29.

Joy French, aged 40, of Norfolk Park, launched Project Paddington on Facebook in September with other Sheffield mums after seeing photographs of the body of three-year-old refugee Aylan Kurdi washed up on a Turkish beach.

She initially thought the project would be small-scale, but it escalated in just a few weeks.

Schools across the country helped to raise thousands of pounds, with one of the biggest sums coming from Hunter’s Bar Junior School which raised more than £3,000.

Headteacher Jill Hallsworth said: “It captured the children’s imagination. The School Council took the lead and our children felt they could influence what was happening globally.”
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