PRIMARY school children in Royal Wootton Bassett have been raising funds while enjoying a taste of Chinese culture.

James Huynh, the owner of the Oriental Aroma restaurant in the High Street, has been hosting pupils from the town since 2007.

He provides a fun educational experience, with subjects including the Chinese New Year – being celebrated on Saturday.

The money donated by the schools is then passed on to Prospect Hospice, with more than £60,000 raised so far.

James told the Adver: “I started it after my grandmother died in 2005 and she was cared for by Prospect Hospice. I decided it would be a good idea to support them in some way.

“She was very well looked after by them, it wasn’t until I visited them and looked around that I realised how hard they worked. A lot of staff there are volunteers too, so it needs as much help as it can get.”

In the 13 years James has been doing the event he has helped raise around £21,000 for the charity.

James said: “I feel so grateful for the donations and being able to raise so much money for them. It’s so rewarding to know I’m helping a good cause.”

This year, children from Wootton Bassett Infants and Brook Field Primary went along to the restaurant.

Brook Field helped to raise £444 and Wootton Bassett £324.

James said: “It was great having the students there, they all enjoyed themselves.

"Every year I teach them the history of Chinese culture and the 12 animals of the new year. I also taught them how to use chopsticks and some of them even ate their food with them.

“It’s important to teach them about the culture because it’s good for them to understand and be open to other cultures. It’s good because the schools also educate them about it all.”

After they’ve eaten, pupils play some music and dance. And before they leave James teaches them how to do origami with the napkins.

Amy Francombe, events and community fundraising manager at Prospect Hospice, said: “We are overwhelmed by the support shown to us by James and his team at Oriental Aroma.

"Only last week I was with them at their annual Chinese New Year event for local school children and we had such a great time raising money.

"He’s really helping to educate local children about Chinese traditions and introducing them to new foods – helping them learn how to use chopsticks was so much fun. At the same time, this helped us to raise their awareness about the hospice and the charity they were helping to raise money for."