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Tower Hamlets school raises cash for stroke teacher

PUBLISHED: 19:00 11 May 2010 | UPDATED: 16:00 05 October 2010

PARENTS at an East End school are hoping to raise thousands of pounds to help a young teacher who was left severely disabled following a stroke. Sonia Chopra was only 33-year-old when she was left wheelchair bound and unable to speak after suffering a s

PARENTS at an East End school are hoping to raise thousands of pounds to help a young teacher who was left severely disabled following a stroke.

Sonia Chopra was only 33-year-old when she was left wheelchair bound and unable to speak after suffering a stroke during the Half Term holidays in February last year.

She was forced to leave her job as teacher at Columbia Primary School in Bethnal Green and move out of her home in Stainsby Road in Limehouse.

She has only recently left hospital to live in Suffolk with her parents who are hoping to convert their garage into a flat for Sonia to live independently.

And parents and teachers at Columbia Primary have organised a Raise the Roof charity auction to collect some cash to help her parents pay for the conversion.

Juliette Tuke, whose daughter was taught by Sonia when she was in Year One, is one of the parents organising the event on Thursday May 20.

She said: "Sonia was a well-loved teacher who was very good at her job.

"She wasn't at all showy but was a quiet and calm teacher.

"The children and the whole school were left devastated by what happened to her and of course her own life has been devastated."

The auction will include artwork by a host of artists including Gavin Turk, Jasper Joffe, Dan Coombs, Melanie Manchot and the Chapman Brothers.

Also on offer will be a Matthew Williamson dress, a walk with Ian Sinclair, a weekend in a cottage in Whitstable, use of an Athens apartment, weekend gig tickets, dinner for two at an East End restaurant and vouchers to spend in various shops on Columbia Rd.

There will be two auctions on the night at the school in Columbia Road, kicking off at 5.30pm with a 'live' one for the larger items and a 'silent' auction in which people can make sealed bids.

Entrance and registration is £1.

Contact head teacher, Mary Igoe, on 020 7739 3835 or bursar@columbia.towerhamlets.sch.uk.

Visit www.raise-the-roof.net

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