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King Edward's School BATH

New Year brings new challenge for Year 7 pupil, Hester

New Year brings new challenge for Year 7 pupil, Hester

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7 January 2019

Year 7 pupil, Hester, will be taking to the streets of Addis Ababa in Ethiopia when she takes part in the Women First Run in March, all to raise funds for blind Ethiopian children.

Diagnosed blind as a baby, Hester has never let it hold her back and is certainly no stranger to setting herself some challenging goals.  An alpine skier and future Paralympic hopeful, Hester completed 100 sports in 100 days in 2017 to raise funds for her Visually Impaired Ski Racing Team.

This coming March she will be finding out for herself what it is like to be a blind student in Ethiopia when she visits children supported at the Mekele School for the Blind by Bath based charity Ethiopiaid.

Hester, a Senior School pupil at King Edward’s loves to sing, play the piano and like any other girl her age enjoys hanging out with her friends.  She trains with the Precise Racing VI ski team and is part of the University of Bath’s Future Athletes development programme.

Without an education the lives of the blind in Ethiopia are extremely limited. A good education is the only way to access an independent and self-sufficient adult life, without this many blind children and adults face a life of begging to survive. 

Hester has plans to eventually go to university and is looking forward to meeting the children at the Mekele School to find out what life is like for them and share their hopes and dreams. 

Having the benefit herself, throughout her school life, of specialist support from the Bristol Sensory Support service and from her wonderful teachers and teaching assistants, Hester hopes that she can ‘pass it on’ by raising funds to help improve the educational life of the children at the school, so they too can hope for a rewarding and successful future.

Hester says “I love school and I want other blind children to have the same opportunity to learn and play that I have had.  I am very lucky and have had some wonderful teaching in school and in sport. I feel that, if I put the effort in, I can do anything that I want to do. 

“I am really looking forward to the run and want to raise as much money as I can so that I can bring specialist equipment to the school and support the children to fulfil their hopes and dreams too.”

Hester will be joined by her ski coach (Charlotte Evans MBE Gold Medallist Paralympic Alpine Ski Race Guide) in the Women First 5K Run in Ethiopia on Sunday 10th March 2019.

To launch this challenge and kick start her fundraising Hester has organised a candlelit concert with the Bath Choral Singers on Saturday 19th January 2019 at Bathwick St Mary’s church in Bath, 6.30 - 8pm.

Musicians and Singer’s from the Aquae Sulis Chorale will perform a variety of choral and operatic pieces and it promises to be lovely evening.  Hester’s sister and OE, Amelia, currently studying at the University of St Andrews with a Choral Scholarship, is also taking part in the evening’s concert.

All are welcome and tickets are available on the door priced at £15 to include a welcome drink.

 

To donate to Hester’s fundraising challenge please visit

www.justgiving.com/fundraising/hester-poole2.  The first £5,000 raised by Hester will be matched pound for pound thanks to a generous donor.

 

Further information

Charlotte Evans MBE - Charlotte shot into the record books at the Sochi Paralympics in 2014 guiding Kelly Gallagher to Britain’s first Alpine Skiing Gold medal. She was the first professional athlete guide and is committed to ensuring that young visually impaired athletes have the opportunities necessary to reach their full potential.

 

 

The Women First Run - The Women First Run was started in 2004 to recognise the achievements of Ethiopia’s great female athletes and to support the broader changes regarding the role of women in Ethiopia’s economic and social life. The race is now the biggest women only race in Ethiopia and one of the biggest in Africa. It is timed to mark International Women’s Day (March 8). 

 

Ethiopiaid - Ethiopiaid, which has its base in Bath, has been supporting local grass roots organisations in Ethiopia since 1989.  The charity was founded following a visit by Sir Alec Reed in the late 80’s.  He saw extreme poverty and destitution but also witnessed great entrepreneurial spirit and the desire to solve their own problems, they simply needed some support to achieve this.  Since then over £33 million has been donated by the charity to local partners in Ethiopia who work with some of the most marginalised and poverty stricken people in the country.  Ethiopiaid celebrates its 30th year anniversary in 2019.  Visit www.ethiopiaid.org.uk for more information.

 

Mekele School for the Blind - The school is one of very few specialist schools in Ethiopia.  Over 90 students from the age of 6 to 16 years have come from across the Tigray region to attend the school and live on site in dormitories.  In recent years the school life of these children has been transformed thanks to the support given by Ethiopiaid’s local partner SENTigray.  SENTigray provides the students with talking textbooks, specialist equipment and supports the health and wellbeing of the children.  They also help to make sure that the school is a safe and secure environment for these vulnerable children. 

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