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TenterdenChurch of England
Junior School
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Porchlight - Amelie's Story

Saturday the 14th December was an important day chalked out on my calendar. I (Amelie) with the help of my bestie Esme and little sister Lois (6) decided to organise an 8 hour Bikeathon to raise money for the homeless charity Porchlight this Christmas.

We got up at 5.30am and set up 3 bikes on trainers outside the Tenterden town hall in pitch black darkness and the aim was to keep three bikes continuously pedalling for eight hours straight. It was very dark, raining and windy but with help of my family and friends and the community of Tenterden over 50 people volunteered and not only did we raise a huge amount of money we managed to cycle an estimated 350 miles.

We started out wanting to raise just £300 but we ended up raising £2,828. The Kent Fire Brigade even turned up with a Fire Engine to present us with a cheque for £250. RM Cycles in Tenterden kindly donated a bike trainer for us for the day, Costa Coffee in Tenterden kindly kept us warm with hot chocolate and everyone donated a huge sum of money.

I never in a million years thought we could raise this much money. The fact that we can present this amount to Porchlight means that someone will be able to benefit from our fund raiser. I spoke to Nathan who runs Porchlight and he told me that £5 covers the cost of a call for a person in crises, £25 will pay for a starter pack for someone moving into their accommodation and knowing that our efforts can help a person or people in need is the best Christmas present ever.

My worries have grown over the Christmas season because in a time of happiness and giving more and more people are finding themselves without a roof over their heads so I really wanted to do something to help with the power of me and my best friends and family.

According to shelter its estimated that 320,000 people are now without a home, that's 1 in 201 people and the numbers keep rising. In Kent alone the amount of people without shelter is apparently 5,000, These facts have been really getting me down so with the help of my mum, I decided to contact Nathan at Porchlight to see how I could help.

I think this is the best Christmas present ever and I can’t wait until next year because I want to do something even bigger and BETTER.

Thanks for reading   —    Amelie