Union Street, Chester, CH1 1QP

Chester MP drops in to surprise superstar fundraisers

Chester MP Chis Matheson paid a surprise visit to Grosvenor Park C of E Academy to congratulate two superstar sisters on raising more than £1,000 for charity.

Pupils Ava and Orla Smith were upset at seeing the number of homeless people living on the streets of Chester.

They desperately wanted to take part in the annual ‘sleep out’ fundraiser in December, organised by Chester Aid to The Homeless (CATH), but at ages nine and seven they were deemed too young spend a night in the cold.

Undeterred, the determined duo decided to support the charity in their own way and sang Christmas carols to shoppers during the busy festive period.

Chris Matheson, who first met Ava when she campaigned to have her local play area renovated, rescheduled his day to congratulate the pair in their Celebration assembly on Friday (January 25).

He said: “It is an astonishing achievement and clearly demonstrates a real willingness to help others. Having met Ava before, I know how determined she is.

“Ava and Orla have raised a huge amount of money for CATH, but even if they’d only raised a small amount, they demonstrated a willingness to help others and this is great to see.”

Head of School Jo Price said: “We were so pleased Chis was able to come and meet the inspirational pupils we have here. He’s got everyone talking about what they can achieve through acts of kindness.”

Grosvenor Park Academy, formerly University Church Free School (UCFS), became part of the North West Academies Trust (NWAT) in December.

Steve Docking, CEO of NWAT, was also at assembly to congratulate the girls.

He said: “It is important to celebrate these achievements and to encourage children to be the best they can be.

“Our pupils are always at the forefront of everything we do and it’s a great boost when someone like Chris come to offer his support.”

As sister school to St Martin’s Academy, in Hoole, Grosvenor Park now benefits from the shared values that saw St Martin’s rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted within a year of opening in 2013.

Among the other NWAT schools is Delamere Academy, near Northwich, which is ranked the highest performing primary in West Cheshire according to the latest performance tables.

For more information about Grosvenor Park Academy email:admin@grosvenorparkacademy.org.uk or tel: 01244 569560.