#TeamHilton goes viral!

30th Aug 2017

#TeamHilton goes viral!

We are delighted to confirm that we have raised over ?2,000 for the classmates of Saffie Roussos, the 8-year-old girl who was tragically killed in the Manchester Arena terrorist attack on 22nd May 2017. Our social media campaign to 'put a smile back on people's faces in Newcastle' reached an incredible 8 million people through social media!

In the days following the Manchester attack, children in Year 5 at Hilton Primary Academy decided that they wanted to put a smile back on the faces of the people of our city. They arranged a 'Random Act of Kindness' event at the Monument in Newcastle city centre where they handed out free cakes to complete strangers to make them smile again! Children from Year 1 wrote kindness poems and handed them out in our Blakelaw community and children from Year 4 also completed random acts of kindness within our community.

The 'Random Act of Kindness' created huge interest from local and national media. Year 5 children Jessica Scott and Jack Birkett appeared live on the BBC Radio Newcastle Breakfast Show promoting the event. The Monument random act of kindness was also covered widely by regional television (BBC Look North and ITV Tyne Tees) as well as the Newcastle Evening Chronicle.

A video of the event appeared on BBC Three's Facebook page and was watched by over 6,000,000 people worldwide!

We were overwhelmed by the incredible kindness and generosity of local people and businesses leading up to and during the event. The aim of the event was never to raise money, simply to make people smile again - but we were soon overwhelmed with donations of money from members of public who had heard about our RAOK. The children had been touched by the story of Saffie and decided that they would like to donate any money raised to her classmates to 'put a smile back on their faces'. We launched a 'Just Giving' page and within hours had donations flooding in from across the world - we had donations from as far away as Sydney in Australia!

The owner of Tyne & Wear Fire Safety in Whitley Bay donated ?200 towards our 'Random Act of Kindness' - he was originally from Manchester and was touched by the message delivered by our children on BBC Radio Newcastle.

Many other local businesses also donated cakes and sweet treats for our children to hand out on the day including Greggs, Costa Coffee, Patisserie Valerie and Sainsbury's. Local bus company Stagecoach North East even put on a free bus to transport our children to and from Newcastle City Centre for the event. Shake-a-holic were so touched by the actions of our children that they donated a free milkshake to every child that had been involved in the RAOK!

Our community really did pull together on that day with parents, carers and grandparents all coming down to the Monument to help us out. We were also visited by our local Member of Parliament, Chi Onwurah - who had heard about the event through social media.

It was a heart-warming end to what had been such a traumatic event for the United Kingdom and the day when the children of Hilton Primary Academy really could say they had made millions of people around the world smile again.

On Friday 15th September several of our new Year 6 children along with our Vice Principal Mr. Heeley and Year 5/6 Cohort Leader Mrs. Aziz will visit Tarleton Community Primary School in Lancashire to present the cheque to the classmates of Saffie Roussos.