NEWS
06/12/2018 11:53 GMT | Updated 06/12/2018 12:16 GMT

Bullied Syrian Refugee's Support Fund Will Be Spent On Relocating Family

Online appeal raised more than £158,000 and has now been closed to new donations.

HuffPost UK

The family of a Syrian refugee who was bullied at school have said they will use the £158,000 raised in support to start a fresh life elsewhere in the UK. 

The 15-year-old boy, known only as Jamal, was shown being pushed to the ground by another schoolboy before having water poured in his face at Almondbury Community School in Huddersfield. 

A video of the attack went viral, prompting widespread outrage and an outpouring of support for the teen and his family. A GoFundMe page launched to raise money surpassed £158,000 this week.

The family’s lawyer has revealed the money will be spent relocating the family to a new home, but says they will remain in the West Yorkshire area.

Solicitor Tasnime Akunjee also confirmed that all money raised would be going to the Syrian family, and that legal work had been conducted on a pro bono basis.

Akunjee added that any remaining funds would be given to charities helping refugees.

GoFundMe has said the campaign was one of the fastest growing and widely shared during 2018. John Coventry, head of communications for the site, told HuffPost UK: “We see tens of thousands of campaigns every year on GoFundMe in the UK but this one really stood out for how it grew and what it represented.

“It stands as a powerful statement about how people can use the Internet as a real force for good.”

He added: “People from 50 countries around the world came together to support the family and now we’re working closely with them to get the funds directly to them.”

Mohammed Tahir who set up the page said: “Donations have slowed down and I feel we are in a position where we can close the campaign.

“The donations have now been turned off and I personally would like to thank everyone who supported the cause.”

Prime Minister Theresa May had described the public response to the appeal as reflecting the “true spirit of Britain.”

The incident took place at Almondbury Community School in Huddersfield on October 25 and was reported to police the following day.

West Yorkshire Police have confirmed a 16-year-old boy has been summoned to court to be charged with assault over the incident.