A PIANO recital by 12 Woking girls has raised more than £1,000 to help victims of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria.

The event was organised by Juliet Sherringham, eight, and her friends Sofia and Zoya, whose mother is Turkish.

They decided to put on the fundraising event after Caroline Pearce, their music teacher at Halstead Preparatory School for Girls, suggested that they practice in front of an audience.

Gordon’s School in West End let them use a room and a grand piano free of charge and the girls enlisted the help of nine piano-playing friends to make up an evening of performance.

The money will go to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), which is working with locally-led relief efforts in southern Turkey and northern Syria.

The event was attended by about 90 people, including Saj Hussain, the Mayor of Woking, and was supported by local businesses, Jaipur Restaurant, Knaphill Fish Bar and Bunatati de Casa, which donated food and drink that were on sale after the recital. Yusuf, the brother of one of the piano players, sold lemonade he had made.

Juliet, Sofia and Zoya each gave a short speech and led the audience in a prayer they had written.

They wrote on their Just Giving page: “We really want to help DEC because the earthquakes have ruined many people’s lives and we have read about the amazing work this amazing charity is doing. 

“The immediate priorities are medical treatment, shelter for those who have lost their homes, heaters and winter kits with blankets, and warm clothes, and ensuring people have food and clean water. How will the money raised by us help? £30 will provide blankets for six people to keep them warm; £50 will provide emergency food for two families for 10 days; £100 will provide emergency shelter for four families.” 

Juliet told the audience at the end of the event: “I would like to say a big thank you to Gordon’s School for their kindness, support and generosity in offering us their amazing hall free of charge.

“I would also like to say a big thank you to our incredible piano teacher, Mrs  Pearce, for all her help and support and thank you for listening to our piano playing and helping us make a difference.”

This is the latest in a series of fundraising by Juliet, that started when she was six when she raised £500 to support the animals at an adventure farm while it was closed because of the pandemic by doing sponsored walks and baking cakes that she sold to neighbours.

She later collected money for the Rabbit Welfare Association Fund from visitors to Chobham Adventure Park where she gave advice about how to look after pet rabbits.

Last December, Juliet raised about £250 for her friend’s school in Romania by making and selling cupcakes and Christmas decorations.

She and Sofia and Zoya are now hoping to raise a total of £2,000 for the earthquake relief work from schoolfriends at Halstead and more donations to their Just Giving page.

Juliet’s mum, Simona, told the News & Mail: “There has been such incredible generosity from all, a real community effort for a wonderful cause.”

To donate, visit https://justgiving.com/fundraising/jzconcert