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Woman's back-to-school fundraiser for Jamaican schoolkids - inspired by Bristol bus boycott grandfather Roy Hackett

PUBLISHED: 17:28 02 August 2019

Emma's brother Darell Kelly, also known as DJ Dukez, supporting her last fundraiser. Picture: Family of Emma Thompson

Emma's brother Darell Kelly, also known as DJ Dukez, supporting her last fundraiser. Picture: Family of Emma Thompson

Archant

Emma Thompson is hoping to rally the Harlesden community to help support underprivileged schoolchildren in Jamaica.

Roy and Ena Hackett on their wedding day. Picture: Family of Emma ThompsonRoy and Ena Hackett on their wedding day. Picture: Family of Emma Thompson

Emma, whose grandparents emigrated from the Caribbean island, is working with the Kingston-based rugby club the Mona Titans to collect school supplies and send them across the Atlantic Ocean.

Inspired by a family-history of community activism - her grandfather Roy Hackett was involved in beginning the Bristol bus boycott in the 1960s - she's hoping to make a difference to the lives of families who can't afford essential supplies.

"The team in rugby team in Jamaica does an awful lot for the community. What I try to do from here is organise and help with build their profile, here.

"It's hard for lots of parents to get their kids through school. People have literally got nothing for schoolbooks, pens or bags. £1 is nothing here but that sort of money really helps."

Emma is appealing for members of the Brent community to donate schoolbooks, stationery, bags and other school essentials which she will then send across the globe.

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Last winter she did a similar appeal over Christmas.

"What I'm going to do is sent things back to the Mona Titans who will then distribute them to parents ahead of the school year."

She said: "One of the reasons I'm doing this is because of being inspired by my grandfather. He was one of the first four guys in Bristol who organised the Bristol boycott.

"They organised because people like my grandmother were refused jobs by the bus company."

Emma's grandmother Ena Hackett had applied to become a conductor, but was refused a job despite being qualified. Like many others, the reason was simple - she was black.

Referring to the Race Relations Act, Emma added: "The long story ends with the law being changed."

The Bristol boycott of 1963 saw black and Asian communities - in the city refuse to use the publicly owned buses in protest at the 'colour bar' which prevented non-white people being hired as part of bus crews.

Emma said she would be collection donations to send back to Jamaica on August 10 between 2 and 9pm at the New Kingston restaurant, 49 Blackbird Hill, Neasden.

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