Grosvenor Park Academy

Ava and Orla sing their hearts out for charity

Kindhearted sisters who were upset at seeing people living on the streets of Chester have raised more than £1,000 to help them.

Grosvenor Park C of E Academy pupils Ava and Orla Smith have been saddened by the number of homeless people they see on their journeys to and from the city-centre school, at Union Street.

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.

Now Ava and Orla have handed a cheque for £1,015.92 to CATH.

Jo Price, Head of School at Grosvenor C of E Academy, said: “I feel very proud to have such inspirational children at our school.

“This is a perfect example of what can be achieved with determination, willingness and, most importantly, big hearts. Well done Ava and Orla!”

CATH report that rough sleeping numbers are on the increase in the city, and more support than ever is needed.

They staged their annual sponsored sleep out on December 7.

Meanwhile, Ava and Orla were hitting the right note with generous members of the public in prime spots near Marks & Spencer and in the Grosvenor Precinct, while younger sister Enya, five, collected donations.

Robert Bisset, CEO at CATH, said: “The girls were absolutely amazing and held most people spellbound with their confidence and incredible singing voices.

“The charity is so proud to have two wonderful local girls determined to help and support those in need.

“They have visited the homeless day centre in Grosvenor Street to see for themselves where the money will be spent.

“The girls met one or two homeless clients and gave a live performance of their incredible carol singing voices.

“On behalf of the homeless community in Chester, CATH says ‘well done girls’ and thank you for being there when it counts.”

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

As sister school to St Martin’s Academy, in Hoole, it 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.