NINE-YEAR-OLD Elsie Pryer raised more than £1,000 for a school in Ghana through running almost 15 miles in a day.
The Brightlingsea schoolgirl was inspired by her teacher, Mr Jones, who encouraged his class to think about ways they could support those less fortunate than themselves.
On arriving home, Elsie immediately started researching and discovered a local charity that funds a school in Ghana was running a desperate appeal.
The Brightlingsea Academy, in Kumasi, was founded by local girl Jemma Williams, who saw firsthand how desperate children in the African country were for basic food and education.
She launched the charity Porridge and Pens and went about building, staffing and filling the school, which now cares for over 200 children aged from one to ten years old.
However, recently, significant flooding in the area has made it impossible for children to get to school so the charity launched an urgent appeal to build a bridge and help students gain access to the site.
Elsie was instantly affected by the cause, saying she couldn’t imagine not being able to get to school, missing meals and then having to come home with parents out at work.
She decided to use her talent for running to gain sponsorship and raise funds, setting herself the challenge to run 100 laps of the nearby Hurst Green.
The challenge then became a family affair with her sister, parents and grandmother all joining in by running laps with her, baking cakes to sell at the event and setting up an online fundraising page.
Elsie’s mother, Nicola Pryer, suggested it might be more achievable to split the run over two days, but determined Elsie insisted on meeting her goal within one day.
Starting at 9am and running in persistent rain throughout, Elsie completed her challenge over five hours later, raising £970 in donations.
Many friends and locals came to support her on the day and her fundraising has since increased to over £1,200 through further contributions.
It is a really super effort from an amazing young lady that will make a huge difference to the lives of others.
Elsie’s fundraising page can be found at www.gofundme.com/f/elsies-100-lap-challenge-to-help-build-a-bridge
Further information on the work of Porridge and Pens can be found at www.porridgeandpens.org
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