Teenager gets more than a lit­tle help from friends

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Helping Others - By James Scott

js­cott@thek­m­group.co.uk A char­i­ta­ble teenager and his friends raised £145 for char­ity by sell­ing items to fel­low pupils at Ash­ford’s Nor­ton Knatch­bull School.

De­shan He­wavi­dana, 18, of Park Farm, and friends sold the T-shirts and cakes made by li­brar­ian Jane Knott dur­ing one lunchtime.

The money will go to the UK Friends of Galle char­ity (UKFG), which was founded by his fa­ther Devsiri, to help the peo­ple of Sri Lanka af­ter the dev­as­tat­ing tsunami in 2004.

De­shan, a Year 13 pupil, said: “I must give spe­cial thanks to the school and in par­tic­u­lar the school li­brar­ian Mrs Jane Knott who has given me such a great plat­form to build on the char­ity’s suc­cess.

“Al­though this ap­pears to be a small sum in the UK, it will make a whole lot of dif­fer­ence to chil­dren in Galle. Last sum­mer, with the £900 plus my friends and I raised by sell­ing T-shirts at my school and at High­worth, I bought com­put­ers and books for six ru­ral schools.

“I can­not de­scribe the hap­pi­ness I saw in poor chil­dren’s eyes when we vis­ited each school with my fam­ily to do­nate the equip­ment.”

His proud fa­ther Devsiri said: “This year De­shan is go­ing to buy shoes for chil­dren at Ul­lala school in Matara in Sri Lanka whose par­ents can­not af­ford to buy them.

“So far UKFG has raised £110,000, given 230 schol­ar­ships, built eight tsunami houses, do­nated six new school li­braries, do­nated thou­sands of books to schools, bought 17 PCs, given away 2,500 new pairs of shoes and a huge amount of sta­tionery in south­ern Sri Lanka.”

Un­til July 17, the Ash­ford Vol­un­teer Cen­tre in Park Mall (op­po­site the Pound­stretcher shop) is act­ing as a col­lec­tion point for pens, pen­cils, pen­cil cases, nov­elty rulers and sci­en­tific cal­cu­la­tors (but not books) which the He­wavi­dana fam­ily will take to Sri Lanka.

Any­one who can do­nate an old lap­top, wants to spon­sor a child for £90 a year or buy some shoes for a class can email Mr He­wavi­dana at devsiri@hot­mail.com

For more in­for­ma­tion go to www.uk­fgsri­lanka.com

Ben Walker, Mike Grela, De­shan He­wavi­dana (UKFG Chil­dren’s Chair­man), Cal­lum Tyn­dall, Lewis Sin­gle­ton, Sean Grob­ler , Sam Lat­ter and Mark Cox-Smith

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