More than £2k needed to allow robot to attend school in place of ill student

PUBLISHED: 12:34 17 May 2019 | UPDATED: 12:34 17 May 2019

Priory English teacher Kirsty Aaron, headteacher Angelos Markoutsas, Makayla Nunn and Robbie the AV1 robot.    Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Priory English teacher Kirsty Aaron, headteacher Angelos Markoutsas, Makayla Nunn and Robbie the AV1 robot. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

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A fundraising campaign to allow a Worle student to receive her education without being in the classroom has been launched.

Makayla Nunn, of Priory Community School, suffers from ME and hypermobility syndrome, which often leaves her in an extreme state of tiredness and suffering from flu-like symptoms.

She will be entering her final school year in September and Robbie, an AV1 robot created by Norwegian-based start-up No Isolation, is due for its rental renewal.

The robot has an emoji face, meaning Makayla can click a button to tell her teacher whether she is confused or cross.

When Makayla wants to ask a question, a blue light will flash to alert the teacher and a live feed from the classroom is streamed through its microphone and camera.

Priory English teacher Kirsty Aaron, headteacher Angelos Markoutsas, Makayla Nunn and Robbie the AV1 robot.   Picture: MARK ATHERTONPriory English teacher Kirsty Aaron, headteacher Angelos Markoutsas, Makayla Nunn and Robbie the AV1 robot. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Makayla's mum, Michelle, made a plea on social media for donations to borrow Robbie for another year, which caught the attention of fundraiser Darren Sims, who has raised more than £650,000 for various causes.

Robbie costs £2,186 to rent for an academic year, with additional £800 servicing costs, but Darren wants to raise £4,000 to buy the robot outright to be used in her future education.

MORE: AV1 robot joins Priory.

How the AV1 works.How the AV1 works.

Michelle said: "Everything has changed so quickly, I went from not knowing whether it would be possible to keep Robbie for another year, to Darren coming on board and organising fundraising events.

"We went on BBC Radio Bristol and told our story, only for a kind man to anonymously donate £2,000, which means we can rent Robbie again and once Makayla has finished her education, hand it over to Darren who can then gift it to another child.

"It's fantastic to know there are amazing people out there who would be willing to not only help Makayla, but other kids who experience similar problems too."

MORE: 'No-one can give me answers to if I will get better'.

Makayla has not been able to attend school full-time for more than eight years, but thanks to Robbie she can hear and see her teacher despite not being in the classroom.

It also has improved WiFi and battery levels and teachers can download an app to their devices to interact with the AV1.

Priory headtecher, Angelos Markoutsas, added: "This is brilliant news for Makayla. She has raised so much money for charity over the years and inspires us all with her determination and compassion for others."

A fundraising event will be held at Up The Wall, in Knightstone Road, on May 27 from 2-5.30pm.

To donate, click here.

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