AN initiative started by pupils of a Bradford school to help refugees from Syria won the Community Involvement award.

The Dixons City Academy Syrian Action Team was set up by pupils in the school’s Sixth Form with help from teachers.

They had been moved by the events they had seen in the media and had wanted to make a positive contribution to the Syrians who were being resettled in Bradford, including some at the school.

The group raised over £1,500 and gained the support of many local businesses. They organised a huge collection of clothes, toys and household items, and worked with Horton Housing to make contact with the newly arrived refugees. They invited over 100 Syrians to a welcome party at the academy along with a number of local dignitaries. On the night the team provided gifts and entertainment for every family and child.

They followed it up with a second event last summer.

A team of pupils and school staff took to the stage to accept the award, thanking everyone who helped support their events, including teachers, Horton Housing, local businesses and community groups and said it was “good to have their passion recognised”.

Student Henna Elahi said: “Our main aim was to help the Syrian refugees in the area.”

Deborah Vickerman, a teacher at the school, said: “The pupils did something that had a really big impact on the community.

“Doing this made a difference. Rather than donating money to a charity they could see the difference their work was doing.

“It really helped some of the refugees build friendships, and one said this team was like a family to them.”

The award was sponsored by The Broadway Shopping Centre.

l Honorary mention:

Saltaire Primary and the Hirst Wood Regeneration Group

Bingley Grammar School - fundraising for Bradford Royal Infirmary