Edinburgh's Ukraine efforts: Schoolgirl Ivy takes on fundraising and cake sale to help those in Ukraine

A big-hearted schoolgirl who felt she had to do something to help war stricken Ukrainians has defied expectations after having raised hundreds of pounds for those in need.

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Ivy Lennie, seven, was inspired to raise funds after watching Newsround at her school in Bonnyrigg and seeing footage of Ukrainian children sleeping in train stations. And after asking her stepmum Hollie Duff about what was going on, she decided she had to find a way to help.

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“I didn’t want to lie to her,” said Hollie. “She’s the kind of person who would walk past a newspaper and read all about it anyway so I explained it to her and she was determined to do something.”

Ivy Lennie has launched a fundraiser to help

The selfless youngster asked Hollie if she could hold a cake sale to raise money and said she was aiming high in terms of a target.

“I said we should aim for £50 because I thought that would be amazing and it was just going to be a wee cake sale with her school friends,” said Hollie.

“But Ivy said that target was too low and initially said we should aim for £400 at least. I said that’s unachievable because people might not be able to attend or afford to give too much.

“But she was insistent, she knew how much she wanted to raise for these people. Now, we’ve nearly hit the £1,000 mark so she was right. It’s just gone crazy.”

Ivy Lennie was inspired to help Ukrainians after watching Newsround at school

And Ivy’s determination has inspired others to get involved - with her fundraising efforts having become somewhat of a family affair.

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“My friend and I are now going to do a 5K run to raise some money and Ivy’s dad Gary and her Uncle Lewis are also going to shave their hair,” said Hollie.

“We just thought that if Ivy, who’s only seven years old, could stand up and help these people, why are we sitting doing nothing?”

She also paid tribute to her step-daughter, who is being cheered on by her eight-month-old sister Fern, and said she was “just the loveliest little girl”.

“It’s just so heartwarming that a seven-year-old can see what’s going on in the world and wants to do her bit to help,” she said.

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“She has genuinely got a heart of gold. She’s just such a kind wee soul and it’s heartwarming that she wants to do her best to help a country that she’s never even been to and doesn’t know anything about really.

“She’s just the kindest wee girl in the world, she honestly is. She would do anything for anyone.”

Hollie has set up a Facebook fundraiser page for The British Red Cross’s Ukraine Crisis Appeal but has said that people can donate to whatever charity they prefer.

“As long as it goes to Ukraine, we’re not precious about the charity,” she said.

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“We just want to thank everybody who has donated and for helping us to raise so much already.”

Ivy’s cake sale will be held at the family’s house in Stagg Park, Dalkeith, on Friday and everyone is welcome.

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