Gallery: Northgate High School class of 1981 raise money for schools in Africa through photo reunion project

Last day of Northgate sixth form, 1981

Last day of Northgate sixth form, 1981 - Credit: Archant

A former pupil from Northgate High School has started a photo-reunion project with her old classmates to raise money for charity, in honour of her late husband.

Debbie Bartlett, 51, from Orsett in Essex, finished at Northgate High School in 1981, and after taking inspiration from the recent Ice Bucket Challenge phenomenon, began her own fundraising project in which her former Northgate pupils upload school photos onto a Facebook group and donate £1 for each photo shared.

The money raised will be donated to the charity Build Africa, of which Ms Bartlett is a volunteer ambassador, and be used to build classrooms in Kenya.

So far £970 has been raised towards a target of £1,981, including £170 donated from a raffle of a signed Ipswich Town shirt. So far 74 former pupils from the class of 1981, including some as far away as Australia and Vietnam, have taken part.

Ms Bartlett said: “It’s been phenomenally exciting for everyone to connect and to see it grow from a few people. It’s a brilliant way of reconnecting with everyone and allows them to see photos they may never have seen.”

The project was started in memory of her late husband, Tony, who was an English teacher and committed supporter of education projects in Kenya before he passed away in 2010 aged 48.

Ms Bartlett added: “What I would like to do is get other years and other schools to copy it.” Build Africa planning to publicise the challenge online for other schools to try.

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Ms Bartlett added: “It’s quite poignant that it is a school year raising money for other schools and now we would like to find more people through parents who still live in Ipswich whose children may have moved away.”

Donations can be made to the Tony Bartlett Memorial Fund online at www.virginmoneygiving.com. Class members can join on Facebook.

For more on school reunions, see our special webpage

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