The Sunday Times Magazine has helped raise thousands of pounds for children on a deprived housing estate so they can go on summer day trips.
The title claimed its readers donated £160,000 to a crowdfunding page within 36 hours of its story about children on the “notorious” Broadwater Farm estate in north London, where families are “too poor to take their children off the estate and too terrified to let them play on it”.
The magazine said in its article, published on Sunday, that it found the thought that a child might dread the summer holidays “so shocking” that it asked the headteacher of a local primary school what could be done to help.
It then told readers they could help fund activities for the children, including swimming, trampolining and a seaside visit, through a Just Giving page set up with Willow Primary School and the Broadwater Children’s Centre. It has now passed £200,000.
The magazine said: “A century ago, philanthropic organisations would arrange trips to the country for inner-city children during the summer. We would like to reignite this tradition, starting with Broadwater Farm.”
Sunday Times Magazine editor Eleanor Mills told Press Gazette: “I am so delighted by the reaction of our readers, the fact that we have raised so much money in only 24 hours shows the value and importance of storytelling.
“I am delighted that Sharon Hendry’s heartfelt report on the plight of the children who dread the summer holidays struck such a chord with so many of you that we have been able to raise over £160,000 to give the children a summer to remember. And one which will be potentially life-changing in its effects.”
The headteacher of Willow School, Dawn Ferdinand, added that she was “overjoyed” by donations to the fund.
She said: “Over the next week and beyond I will be working with my senior leadership team and staff to put a programme of holiday events together for the children. When we have worked out the programme we will share it with you all. I am speechless.”
An update to the crowdfund page yesterday said children were “ecstatic” about some of the trips planned for them after the funds £100,000 target was smashed.
The prospective days out include UK safari park, camping, seaside and theme park trips.
The Broadwater Farm estate in Tottenham was built in 1973 and features 12 separate blocks some of which face demolition. In 1985 it was the scene of riots that saw policeman PC Keith Blakelock stabbed to death.
Picture: Just Giving