STUDENTS have rallied round to help raise hundreds of pounds towards plans to build a disability day centre in Bicester.

Pupils at The Bicester School, led by sixth formers Nikita Cooke-Smith and Jasmine Truscott, staged a fundraiser on Monday for the Alexandra House of Joy (AHOJ) project.

A host of stalls, cakes and activities including a popular sponge throw were set up by the pupils and in total helped rack up more than £800 for the cause.

The money will go towards charity founders Rachael and Ian Scott-Hunter’s plans to create a £2.5m day centre for adults with learning difficulties

Nikita, 17, from Caversfield,, said: “We came up with the idea for a fete together with input from Rachael and the school’s charity committee who helped us set it up.

“It went really well and every seemed excited, maybe because there was a lot of sugar, and everyone enjoyed the games.

“The ‘throw a sponge at a teacher’ stall was a popular one and lots of people were buying cakes. It was just a really nice atmosphere.”

The pair set about supporting the AHOJ after meeting Rachael at a volunteers fair in Bicester.

Both Nikita and Jasmine said they planned to sign up with another charity, as part of the schools volunteer project, but after speaking with Rachael were inspired by her passion to support AHOJ.

Jasmine, 17, from Southwold, said: “The fact Rachael was so passionate about the project made me want to help.

“As a new charity it is not known enough by people yet.

“But it is such an important project as adults with learning difficulties have it so rough, there have been so many cuts and there isn’t any other places doing what Rachael wants aims to do with AHOJ.

“It is important for them to have a place to feel comfortable.”

The Scott-Hunters started the project following their own experiences caring for the 45-year-old daughter Alexandra who has severe learning difficulties.

Council cuts have taken away much of the day support for families like themselves and the new centre hopes to reverse that by building a new site in Bicester.

To donate to the cause or for more details see