PUPILS at Meadowpark School in Cricklade presented a barefooted poet with £1096.50 to help impoverished children around the world.

Children from the school walked 284 laps of the Willow Walk, which is equivalent to 94 miles, in Cricklade’s North Meadow to raise money for the Barefoot Billion project.

During a special assembly, Philip Wells, who is known as the fire poet, told pupils how he walked 1000 miles barefoot through England and Wales to raise awareness of the billion children living in poverty.

He arrived at the school barefooted and answered the children's questions about the animals he has seen on his journey so far, his injuries and how he takes comfort breaks.

"I loved hearing about the time he stepped on an adder," said one pupil, Manit Nalla, aged 5 years.

Philip told the children: “I am impressed with your magical effort and the huge total. As a poet I give a voice to the voiceless. By raising this money, the pupils at Meadowpark have given a voice to the billion barefoot people around the world.”

“It was fascinating listening to Philip talk about his experiences” said Head Teacher Rajvinder Kular. "We teach the pupils to care about others and Philip’s visit helped them see how to make a difference in the world. I am so proud of the pupils for taking part in the sponsored walk. It really is a magnificent sum raised for a worthwhile cause and I would like to thank all the parents for their sponsorship and contributions.”

The money raised will be split equally between the three charities that the Barefoot Billions project supports, Consortium for Street Children, Ocean Stars Trust and Born Free Foundation.