THE devastation caused in Japan by the earthquake and tsunami cannot have failed to have moved local people.

But for Yuka Makino, a mother of four who lives in Bolton, it is has been heartbreaking.

She is from the Sendai province—one of the worst hit areas.

Many of her friends are still missing following the devastating natural disaster.

Mrs Makino said: “I feel as if my memories have been washed away.”

Over half the population of Onagawa, a picturesque seaside village where Mrs Makino lived, is still missing.

But rather than feeling helpless, Mrs Makino and her family have embarked on a fundraising drive for the British Red Cross Japan Tsunami Appeal to help those who are suffering and have lost everything in the disaster.

They have enlisted the help of Bolton School, where her four children Kei, aged seven, Ai, aged five, Eichi, aged 11, and Jei, aged nine, are pupils.

All 2,400 pupils got involved on Friday with the young people being asked to wear something red to show they were supporting the fundraising campaign.

There was a raffle with prizes including Manchester United football shirt signed by Ryan Giggs, some football boots signed by Everton captain Phil Neville, a T-shirt and photo signed by Amir Khan and photographs signed by Wanderers striker Kevin Davies.

Funds raised will be bolstered by a fun run in May and the school is hoping to bring in £10,000 for the disaster appeal.

Mrs Makino’s husband, Yasuhito, said: “We have been together for 13 years in the UK now but still have very strong ties with Japan and it is heartbreaking to see the pain and devastation that has hit the country.

“We are delighted that the whole of Bolton School has been able to help out with this disaster appeal. We are amazed at how incredibly helpful people in the UK have been.”

Last weekend the Makino family collected money for the appeal outside Asda at Middlebrook and raised £2,615. This weekend they collected outside Marks and Spencer in Manchester as part of a network of Japanese people collecting money across the North West.