A TEAM of nine Southampton schools have been busy raising money for Afghan refugees arriving in the city.

The Aspire Community Trust ran a non-uniform event earlier this month, where each pupil donated to take part.

The idea was spearheaded by Aizik, a Year 11 at Cantell School.

He explained: "When my family and I moved here we received a lot of support from school, church and friends. Seeing people forced to leave their home land was very upsetting.

"I always said to myself that if I ever have the chance to give back to people in a similar situation I would do so, and to give those fleeing their country support to have a fresh start.”

Harry Kutty, chair of the Aspire Community Trust, added: "All the headteachers in our family of schools gave their unequivocal support to Aizik and his idea and we are really pleased to have been able to raise just over £3,000 for those Afghan families torn away from their homes so suddenly and shockingly.

"We are proud to be Schools of Sanctuary working within a City that offers Sanctuary"

In total the schools raised £3,087.90.

These funds will be split between CLEAR and Action Southampton, two organisations supporting Afghan refugees arriving locally.

CLEAR trustee, Paul Woodman said, “We are very grateful for the support from the Aspire Trust to help others. We need only put ourselves in their shoes to see how important this help is.

"We know they have escaped the Taliban on military planes, arrived in an unfamiliar city and country with just a few belongings and they're still concerned about the loved ones they are separated from.

"It’s wonderful that the Aspire Trust has shown a very warm welcome to our city."