Evening leads the fundraising

After a special needs school was seriously damaged by a fire, staff at the Evening Leader in North Wales responded by organising a party for the 150 children affected, writes Dominic Ponsford.

Leader employees planned the entertainment for the party, which took place at a venue offered free by a hotel in Mold, and they also personally selected and wrapped presents for every child.

Catriona Buckett, news editor of the Evening Leader’s Flintshire edition, said the response to the Ysgol Belmont appeal snowballed.

She said: “The phone started ringing the minute the newspaper hit the streets and we just ran with it.

We discovered the work carried out at the school was inspiring and moving in itself and we carried stories of pupils’ triumphs.

“People were moved and inspired to help and seeing how much the community cared was touching.”

Firefighters who helped douse the original blaze attended the party, as did players from Wrexham Football Club.

In addition to funding the party, the Evening Leader is to hand over a cheque for £3,000 to go towards the school minibus fund.

Belmont pupil Jacky Worthington gives Leader series news editor Joanne Shone a hug

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