Children at Hensingham Primary School are calling on local businesses to support their Community Pet Parade this weekend.

This year’s Centre for Leadership Performance Bright Stars Project is all about ‘Making a Difference’ and the Year 2 Pupils at the Whitehaven school are getting stuck into the challenge.

After researching people and organisations that had been affected by the pandemic, the children decided to help a cause close to their hearts – animals – and teamed up with Animal Concern Cumbria (ACC), to help raise vital funds.

Working with Lindsey from Natterjack Marketing and Ashleigh from Kaefer Cumbria, the pupils have developed a business plan, created a digital marketing campaign and designed posters and logos so everyone knows who the ‘Hensingham Helping Heroes’ are and what they are doing to ‘make a difference’ to their community.

They have set up a Facebook page to share their ideas with the wider community, created a just giving page linked directly to the charity and will be hosting events to raise money and resources including a ‘Pet Food Donation Raffle’ and a ‘Community Pet Parade’ which will take place on Saturday 19th June.

They have written letters to local business to ask for support through donations of prizes and to members of the community to ask them to put posters up in exchange for publicity on their media pages.

The children at the Cumbria Education Trust school got a special treat when staff and volunteers from the charity visited to share information about what they do for animals. This includes rehoming and adoption, funding vet fees through their Peppa’s Pot Campaign and providing educational talks on looking after pets. They also took along some furry friends, one rehomed by ACC, and the children had a fabulous time.

The children are asking people to visit the Hensingham Helping Heroes Facebook page to find out more

Assistant Headteacher Jenny Walker said: “It has been lovely to see the children so keen and eager to get the project going. They had lots of great ideas for events and activities and have really embraced the ‘making a difference’ theme. They have thought carefully about how they can involve people from the community as well as make it fun for everyone involved.”

Yvonne, from Animal Concern Cumbria, said: “We are delighted the children chose our charity and want to support us. It has been a very difficult year. We need as much help as we can get to ensure we can continue to run services in this area and throughout Cumbria.”

Pupils in Year 2 have enthusiastically welcomed the project.

Annie said: “We are all animal mad! Our teacher, Mrs Burdon adopted a Class dog from the NCDL as a Christmas present, but we can’t visit him as he is too far away. We wanted to help animals closer to home and make sure that dogs can find new homes with new families just like ours.”

Cowen added: “I love dogs, I have four of them and they are all special.”