PUPILS and staff at a Kirkby Lonsdale special school have raised £1,000 for a South African children’s charity.

Underley Garden School, a day and residential school for young people with autism and other learning difficulties, raised the money from a series of sponsored events run by pupils, and the sale of Christmas cards and other items.

Former pupils, staff and friends of the school contributed to the total.

The money was donated to the Thandi Friends Project, which helps relieve poverty and hardship for the Thandi community in South Africa. “We chose to work with Thandi because it works with disadvantaged young people and we wanted our young people, despite some of the barriers they have, to develop an awareness of the significant struggles others face,” said principal Robert Sankey.

Keith and Helen Wilberforce, who are Penrith-based volunteers for the project, said they were ‘overwhelmed’ at the size of the cheque they received.

They said: “We were delighted to receive such a very generous donation.”