HUNDREDS of York schoolchildren have worn bandages to raise funds for a hospital – after it successfully treated a fellow pupil who was badly burned in a boat fire.
The Bandage Day – similar to the non-uniform days commonly held at schools – was staged on Friday at Dringhouses Primary School.
More than 250 pupils made a voluntary donation to wear a bandage, raising £310 for the Burns Unit and the Children’s Burns Club at Pinderfields Hospital at Wakefield, said teacher Clare Smith.
Pupil Jak Church, ten, of Acomb, asked for the bandage day to be held after the hospital treated him for burns to his back and arms, suffered when his father’s boat caught fire on the River Ouse last summer.
He said in a letter to parents that he wanted to raise the money as a thank you for Pinderfields nursing him to recovery by asking childen to come to schools with bandages on, adding: “Returning to school with all of my bandages still on, I felt like I was the odd one out.”
He said the Burns Club meant that children who had been through horrific incidents like his got to meet other children in similar circumstances.
As The Press reported previously, the fire happened when Jak and his father, John, were spending a night on John’s boat, called the Mojo, moored at Acaster Malbis.
They were woken by a fierce blaze, which trapped them in the cabin. Mr Church punched a hole in a small perspex hatch covering, causing a backdraft which swept flames towards Jak, burning his back and arms. His father pushed Jak through the hatch and then somehow punched a hole in the cabin’s fibreglass roof big enough to clamber through to safety.
Jak has already raised almost £1,575 for the Burns Unit and Children’s Burns Club at Pinderfields through a sponsored bike ride on a cycle track around Knavesmire, with more money coming in through donations.
Mrs Smith said Jak stood up in assembly on Friday to explain why he was doing the fundraising. “He is such a role model,” she said.