A comedy night with an audience of over 200 has raised more than £7,500 for London’s homeless – organised entirely by one John Lyon pupil.
Sixteen-year-old Shiv Lakhani organised the event at the end of November at Harrow’s Blue Room Sports Venue, arranging a line-up of professional comedians, selling more than 200 tickets and gaining sponsorship from 16 different companies.
At the end of the evening Shiv was able to hand £7,500 to NishkamSWAT, a West London based Sikh charity, that aims to unite and transform financially disadvantaged communities, and is particularly well-known for its support of London’s homeless population, providing meals and support in various locations in the capital and beyond.
On raising important funds for NishkamSWAT, Shiv said: “I wanted to help this charity because last year my family and I went to Charing Cross on Christmas Eve and I was astonished to see home many homeless people there were. I wanted to make a difference and thought why not get friends and family together with some entertainment and raise some money for this great charity.”
And the Lower Sixth student’s efforts haven’t gone unnoticed by the charity itself, which told its thousands of online followers: “Imagine you receive a phone call from a 16-year-old and he says ‘I really want to help and organise an event to raise money for the homeless’, and the next thing you know he has raised over £7,000 singlehandedly!
“We can’t thank you enough, Shiv Lakhani! You have inspired us all at NishkamSWAT and we can’t wait for the next event!”
Shiv’s charitable efforts come at the end of another hugely successful term of fundraising at John Lyon, which has seen many thousands raised for various causes, as reported in Autumn Term’s The Standard.
In her introduction, John Lyon Head Miss Katherine Haynes, says: “I am constantly amazed by the willingness of John Lyon boys to get stuck in for causes they believe in, helping people they don’t know but whose needs are greater than their own. This work, which goes well beyond the curriculum and is not done for any reward of grades or other prizes, really encompasses the values we hold close.”
Pupils typically join John Lyon in Years 7, 9 and 12, largely from a North West London catchment area including Harrow, Wembley, Stanmore, Pinner, Watford, Rickmansworth, Northwood, Ruislip, Hillingdon, Uxbridge, Ickenham, Northolt, Southall, Ealing, Acton, Edgware, Brent Cross, Finchley, Barnet, Camden, Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, Hammersmith & Fulham, as well as other parts of Middlesex, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire.