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24th May 2022

Raheem Bailey: Fundraiser for bullied boy who lost finger surpasses £100k amid celebrity support

April Curtin

Celebrities from around the world have spoken out following the young boy’s ordeal

A fundraiser set up for the schoolboy who had to have his finger amputated after allegedly being attacked by bullies has surpassed £100,000.

Raheem Bailey, 11, was allegedly attacked, beaten and pushed to the ground at Abertillery Learning Community on May 17.

In an emotional post on Instagram, his mum, Shantal Bailey, detailed how the constant bullying came to a head when her son called her at work “in tears” last Monday. Raheem claimed the teacher threatened detention “despite him being the one that’s getting picked on,” his mum explained.

Shantal said the school assured her everything would be handled on Tuesday morning but that Raheem was “attacked and beaten” by a group of kids in school at break time. She said Raheem then cut his finger while climbing a fence in a “desperate attempt” to escape the school grounds.

Six hours of surgery proved unsuccessful and Raheem tragically lost his finger. The 11-year-old’s story went viral, with over one million people liking the post on Instagram.

Boxer Anthony Joshua along with footballers Jadon Sancho and Ashley Williams have all sent private messages of support to Raheem’s mum on Instagram.

The schoolboy also received messages of support from football manager Chris Hughton, pundit Gary Neville and Olympic BMX biker Kye Whyte via his mum’s account.

US basketball player Gerald Green also plans on calling Raheem directly, Shantal told PA.

She said: “Here’s so many people just in different places that have been so generous, and I did not expect what has happened so I am truly, truly grateful for it.”

A GoFundMe page set up by Raheem’s family hit the £100k milestone overnight on Monday – within just four days of the fundraiser being created.

In a statement issued on Sunday, Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council said all campuses at Abertillery Learning Community would be closed on Monday.

It said: “Abertillery Learning Community is working with Gwent Police in relation to an ongoing investigation into an alleged assault on the secondary campus. All campuses at Abertillery Learning Community will be closed tomorrow on health and safety grounds. Learners will access blended learning for Monday, 23rd May. The safety and well-being of learners and staff remains of paramount importance to the Learning Community and the Local Authority at all times.”

Gwent Police also confirmed they were investigating the assault and supporting the family over the weekend.

Superintendent Vicki Townsend said: “Since we received this report, on Wednesday 18 May, there has been significant interest and coverage of this. I would urge people to think about the impact their social media posts and commentary could have on those affected, as the police investigation continues.”

Anyone with any information that could help the ongoing police investigation has been urged to call the police on 101, quoting incident number 2200165495.

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