Pupil raising funds for school which changed his life

PUBLISHED: 07:00 21 November 2019

Mathew Wlaznik from Portishead has been fundraising for Ravenswood School sports hall by collecting donations and vouchers from local shops and businesses.    Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Mathew Wlaznik from Portishead has been fundraising for Ravenswood School sports hall by collecting donations and vouchers from local shops and businesses. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

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A teenager from Ravenswood School has raised hundreds of pounds to thank teachers for their support which has transformed his life.

Mathew Wlaznik from Portishead has been fundraising for Ravenswood School sports hall by collecting donations and vouchers from local shops and businesses.    Picture: MARK ATHERTONMathew Wlaznik from Portishead has been fundraising for Ravenswood School sports hall by collecting donations and vouchers from local shops and businesses. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Mathew Wlaznik, aged 16, has autism, ADHD and learning difficulties and has been a pupil at the school in Nailsea for seven years.

He finds it difficult to communicate and cannot go out by himself, but he was so moved by his school's campaign to raise money for a sports hall, that he overcame his fears and started fundraising.

More: School needs £2million for new sports hall.

Mathew visited shops and businesses in Portishead and appealed for donations for a raffle.

Generous businesses dished out prizes including vouchers for nail and hair treatments, a free MOT and a month's membership to a leisure centre.

His mum Amanda said: "At first Mathew was apprehensive as he struggles to communicate with people.

"I went along to start the conversation and then turned to Mathew who explained what we were doing.

"He found it really hard, but when he realised a lot of people were really keen to help he got so excited and really enjoyed it.

"I'm so proud of him. He managed to get lots of prizes and it's been really good for his confidence.

"The shops were so generous and lovely.

"He really wants to help the school. He understands how much the school has supported him and he wants to give something back.

"He's constantly thinking of ideas on how the school could fundraise."

Ravenswood School is trying to raise £2million to pay for a new sports hall as the current facilities are not fit for purpose.

Amanda and Mathew want to raise as much as possible due to the wonderful support they have received from Ravenswood since Mathew started there in year five.

Amanda said: "Mathew couldn't read properly and he couldn't cope with anything at school, he just had a mental shut down. He was so behind and he was struggling.

"Over the seven years they've supported him with absolutely everything. He's reading now and they've helped him with his social skills and communication.

"He's become a much more confident person and he's happier in himself.

"The school changes people's lives."

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