World Teachers Day 2021

This World Teacher’s Day, we’d like to highlight just one brilliant school of many which have raised funds to grant life-changing wishes to children who have critical conditions.

Shout out to Coop Academy high school in Leeds, where key worker Lynne Johnson supported a pupil called Zain. He was granted a wish in 2010 - to have a red laptop to help with his school work.

Zain lived with immune and liver conditions that made life challenging. Medical experts said he might live to see 13, but he defied the odds and enjoyed going to his high school prom. Then to college. But sadly, Zain died in May this year.

The impact he had on those around him during his short life was astonishing. So school friends wanted to come together to remember his ‘big smile’ and to support more children like him by granting their wish.

Collectively, the school raised just over £600 - enough money to pay for a named bench in Zain’s memory as well as a magnolia tree and donation to Make-A-Wish.

The bench that Coop Academy High School fundraised for in memory of former pupil, Zain Bukhari.

The bench installed at the school in Zain's memory

Lynne said: “We used to do his oxygen every day and have a cup of tea with four sugar lumps and some ‘dunky’ biscuits to pass the time. We did schoolwork too as well as lots of arts and crafts. We made flowers out of recycled plastic bottles, planters with sunflowers in for the staff, all sorts of arty things. I remember he went to see his family back in Pakistan, came back to school and went to prom with the rest of his school friends. He arrived in a big flashy car wearing the sharpest of suits, a pair of sunglasses and the biggest smile ever! He loved it!

“We knew he’d gone to college so it was really upsetting to hear that he’d passed. We wanted to do something his memory so we had a raffle, we had tea with sugar – of course - and biscuits in his memory. Former colleagues came who knew him and those who couldn’t make it sent donations.”

The school also aims to set up a gardening club, and turn the room that Zain used to have his oxygen in into a sensory room. It was always known as Zain’s room. We’re so thrilled that Zain’s legacy lingers on.

We'd also like to thank St James' Catholic High School who raised nearly £750, Class 5 at Pirniehall Primary School in Edinburgh for their 'kindness' project fundraising, Year Six at Rothesay Primary School who sold printed tea towels for three charities, and Truro School where pupils did a sponsored run.

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