Earlham pupils see red for British Heart Foundation

Youngsters have been seeing red at a Norwich school as they raise money for a heart charity.

Pupils at West Earlham Junior School ditched uniforms in favour of donning crimson clothing as part of the British Heart Foundation's National Wear Red Day yesterday.

Members of the Scarnell Road school's student council organised the non-uniform day as a way of continuing to help the charity, after a fundraising art exhbition proved successful last year.

Council representative Ryan Withers, 10, said: 'We asked people in our class what they wanted to do for today and they liked the idea of wearing red and bringing in a donation of 50p or up.'

He added: 'I have been pleased because nearly everyone has been wearing red and bringing in a lot of money for the British Heart Foundation.'

Fellow council member Olivia-Grace Richardson, 10, said: 'Me and Ryan told our class about the day and everyone started to get excited.'

She added: 'If you don't keep your heart healthy then you are most likely to die.'

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Teaching assistant Karen Withers, who helps to run the student council, said: 'I think the children like to do something different each year so it's been nice for them to come out of uniform and wear something different.

'We also have two pupils who have been personally helped by the British Heart Foundation, one for a hole in the heart and another who needs to be regularly monitored.'

As well as raising vital funds for the nation's heart charity the pupils have been learning how a healthy diet and exercise can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Heart disease is an urgent problem - 29,000 people in Norfolk are registered with their GPs as having coronary heart disease and last year over a thousand people died from the disease.

Alex Mayer, British Heart Foundation Fundraising Manager for Norfolk, said: 'We do a lot of work with schools so that children can start out when they are young leaning about how to stay healthy and active and look after their heart.

'The Wear Red Day will also raise money for pioneering research, equipment for hospitals and to spend on patient care.

'Lots of people know about Macmillan nurses but we also have British Heart Foundation nurses to help people with heart conditions.'