School staff to raise cash for Nepal orphans


School staff will take part in a 20-mile sponsored walk to raise money for a Nepal Orphanage.

Gattons Infants School, in Burgess Hill, had been sponsoring a little boy named Prayash, who lived at the Surya Children’s Centre.

When the centre was destroyed in the earthquake, three Gattons staff announced they would walk from Beachy Head to school to raise money.

Assistant headteacher Ellie Bennett, along with bursar Clare Tidbury and Year 1 year group leader Stef Firmin will tackle the hike on July 4, following it with a 10-mile walk the next day.

Youngsters at the school have been invited to join in for the final stretch of the walk between St Johns Park and the school – and some have even written to Prayash.

Ellie said: “I held an assembly and told the children about the earthquake and that Prayash had lost his home because of it – the children were audibly shocked and saddened. The day after, I even received a couple of letters written to Prayash wishing him well from the children who clearly went home and worried about him.”

Gattons’ friendship with Prayash and the children’s centre started because Ellie’s mother had connections there. The school holds events each year to go towards Prayash’s education, health care and food. The events included a sponsored climb which saw the children climbing the equivalent of Mount Everest between them.

While Prayash and his friends were unharmed during the ‘quake, the orphans are sleeping under a temporary makeshift shelter.

With monsoon season approaching, Ellie said Prayash and the children were even more in need of help. Money raised through the walk will be used to help rebuild the centre as well as providing more short-term shelters.

She added: “Even though I am yet to meet the boy I do feel very strong connections with him and the children’s centre. When I had heard that the Children’s Centre had been destroyed I wanted to do something to help.”

To sponsor Ellie and her colleagues, log on to

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