Busker Nicola raises £10,000 to help refugee children into school

Nicola Haxby presents a cheque to Emma Wace, Fundraising and Events Assistant at Theirworld (Theirworld/Aaron Kyle)

She was inspired to play her guitar and sing again after hearing about our mission to get refugee children back into school.

When Nicola Haxby heard about Theirworld’s work to help Syrian refugees, she was inspired to pick up her guitar and sing for the first time in years. 

Now, after five years of busking in English towns, she has raised more than £10,000 to help vulnerable children get back into school.   

Nicola, from Louth, Lincolnshire, said she decided to act after seeing Theirworld Chair Sarah Brown discussing the charity’s education work in Lebanon.   

She said: “I was already concerned about the effects of the Syrian civil war when I saw Sarah on TV. I hadn’t played my guitar for years but I got an amazing reaction, so I carried on. 

“I liked Theirworld’s ability to get things done. Children should be getting an education, not working in factories or getting married young. I wanted to help raise awareness and money for a cause so close to my heart.” 

Theirworld pioneered the “double-shift” school programme in Lebanon, which saw Syrian refugees attend classes in the afternoon after Lebanese children had gone home. The initiative has helped more than 300,000 refugees receive an education. 

Now retired, Nicola was for many years a specialist palliative nurse. She continues to care for her local community, including the homeless and Ukrainian refugees, alongside her fundraising work for Theirworld. 

As well as busking in Louth, Nicola performs in other areas including York and Jersey, where she lived previously. She said: “People often stop to ask me about Theirworld. They want to know all about it and I tell them about the work to help children affected by the Syrian crisis and how they are being given a brighter future.” 

Nicola has a great tip for anyone who wants to raise money for Theirworld. She said: “”Go with your strengths and don’t be afraid. If you’re too afraid to do it on your own then get a group together and fundraise together.

“Dancing, singing, running, cycling, baking – anything really. Most of those things I’m absolutely rubbish at which is why I sing!” 

Sarah Brown praised Nicola’s amazing efforts for Theirworld, saying: “She has done something truly life-changing for the future of children she will never even meet.

“Thanks to Nicola, there are children now in school who would otherwise be locked out of education. We can’t thank her enough for her incredible work.” 

A Song for Theirworld

In 2020, Nicola wrote a Song for Theirworld, which we featured in a video about our work in Lebanon. Watch it here. 

Fundraise with us

Raising money for Theirworld is a great way to help us ensure that every child around the world has the best start in life, a safe place to learn and skills for the future. Whether it’s a sponsored run, bike ride or bake sale, our dedicated fundraising team is on hand to help get you started. 

How you can help.

You can also make a donation here. 

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