‘Incredible’ Dewsbury schoolgirl’s act of kindness to support people in Ukraine

A year six pupil at Overthorpe Church of England Academy, Dewsbury, has amazed staff and parents with a generous act of kindness.

By Jessica Barton
Wednesday, 16th March 2022, 6:00 am
Tillie-mai's efforts were recognised by the school last Friday, who awarded her with the Endurance Award.
Tillie-mai's efforts were recognised by the school last Friday, who awarded her with the Endurance Award.

After hearing about the crisis in Ukraine on the news, Tillie-Mai Hawker told her dad, Tony Boughen, that she wanted to go across and help.

Tony explained how she couldn’t do that, but how she could raise money to buy them essentials instead.

Tillie-Mai decided that she would give up one month’s pocket money, which dad Tony matched.

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Along with donations from friends, Tillie-Mai turned up to school last Thursday with more than £100.

Tony said: “Tillie-Mai came down one morning and said ‘dad we have to get our passports and go to Ukraine to help them’, but I said to her that we couldn’t do that.

“I suggest she raised the money to take to school so they could buy things they needed such as nappies and soap etc, and she said ‘right, that is what we are going to do’ - she then went round all her friends and collected over £100.

“She then decided that she wanted to donate one month’s spend.

“Because this was such a nice gesture I said that I would give her the spend that she would usually have in that month, but she decided she wanted to give that as well.

“I am very proud of her - with her being so young as well, it is just fantastic what she has done.”

Overthorpe Church of England Academy has also expressed how proud it is of her.

Matt Birkett, head teacher said: “Tillie-Mai seems quite affected by what is going on in Ukraine and is a really sensitive girl.

“She has taken all the money she has got, along with her allowance and fundraising with friends and family.

“Tillie-Mai and her dad came in the other day with over £100 off her own back to contribute towards the Ukraine appeal.

“We are so proud of her, she has a real awareness of people in the world who are worse off than she is - it is just incredible.

“She is really proactive in wanting to make a difference, which is great to see from someone of such a young age.

“She could quite easily let this pass by, but she wants to do something about it - what a wonderful young girl she is.”

Tillie-Mai was awarded an Endurance Award on Friday, March 11, during the school assembly as appreciation for all her hard work.