Just a few months into his new job as a head of year at a high school in Gorton, Kemoy Walker noticed something very worrying about the students.
While out on the playground during the cold winter months he saw that a lot of children did not have coats.
And recently he saw a worrying trend of students coming to school with tattered trainers or shoes saying that their parents could not afford new ones.
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With the help of the internet, Kemoy was able to help his students.
Back in November, I posted a call-out for help on Twitter asking for anybody in the Manchester area to provide coats and jackets for his students.
Earlier this month he took to social media again, calling for people to help with providing school shoes for kids at the high school.
Both times he was taken back by the response.
speaking to the MEN he said: “Around winter time I realized that there was a lot of kids without coats,
“I asked them why don’t you have any? and they said their parents couldn’t afford them.
“I was thinking one or two people would get back to me if I tweeted something so I posted on the night at around 8/9 and just left it there.
“When I woke up I could not believe the amount of times it was retweeted and liked.
“Within that month we replenished a lot of people with coats.”
He continued: “It first started with the coats, and the shoes only came about three weeks ago,
“The headteacher pulled over a couple of kids with no shoes,
“They were coming in with trainers or shoes that were beaten down, the question was always ‘where are your school shoes?’ and the answer was always the same, ‘my mother can’t afford some at the moment.’
“That’s when I put the message out asking for anybody with spare black shoes.
“Again, I only expected a few people to reply but, oh my god I was so overwhelmed.”
Kemoy says he’s been rushed off his feet since the appeal the school now has a temporary uniform cupboard where they store any donations for kids in need.
One of the people who saw Kemoy’s tweets was Shaun, a member of an online movement called ‘take back democracy’.
After being alerted to Kemoy’s tweet the father of three from Norfolk set up a GoFundMe and used the money raised to buy 60 pairs of shoes that he personally delivered to the school.
Shaun said: “It just resonated with me because I was like ‘wow people can’t afford to put shoes on their kids feet.’
“I got in touch with Kemoy and said I’m going to try and raise some funds.
“I’m a parent myself which is another reason why it resonated with me, I’m not flush, but I couldn’t imagine being in a position where I can’t put shoes on my kid’s feet.”
Kemoy, 31, became a head of year at St Peter’s RC High School in September says the appeals have brought him back to his days as a youth worker in Moss Side.
Kemoy says the work he has done has had a positive impact on not just the kids, but also his colleagues.
He said: “A teacher is there to teach, and they don’t have time to get into the pastoral side of things.
“When you give them stories like this, it opens the teachers eyes to a different side of a kid’s life.
“It’s important to educate our teachers and we’re doing that.
“Being a youth worker in Moss Side for 16/17 years we see depravity all the time.
“So working in a school I’ve already got that experienced mindset and it rubs off onto other people who see that and say ‘wow, I really want to do what Kemoy is doing because it really makes a difference.”