Malmesbury students raise £10,000 for teen cancer patients
11:37am Friday 6th December 2013 in News
PUPILS at Malmesbury School have raised a whopping £10,000 towards a new cancer unit for young people.
The members of William House, who chose the Teenage Cancer Trust to be their charity following the death of fellow pupil Georgie Brock in 2009, raised the cash in just three years.
Their efforts will go towards a new £2.5 million unit at the Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre due to open in a few months.
Head of house Liam Condon explained that although the students had been raising money for the charity for the past three years, most of it had actually come in over the past 12 months.
“We set ourselves the target of £10,000 by the last day of the school year and when the last day came we just tipped over,” he told the Standard.
“It was an effort that most people in the house actually got involved in.”
Some raised a few pence, other managed to bring in £500 or £600 with their efforts. Four girls and one of their teachers had their hair harvested, not just to raise money, but also to make wigs for young cancer patients.
Other youngsters swam a relay the equivalent of the English Channel between Dover and Calais.
Mr Condon said houses chose their charities every year. But at the time the house system was being set up at Malmesbury the death of Georgie aged just 13, following a battle with leukaemia, was still resonating through the school.
It was one of the reasons William House students chose the Teenage Cancer Trust in the first place and stuck with it in subsequent years.
“Part of it was about teenagers helping other teenagers,” he said. “The hair harvest was really a great example of that.”
Image was particularly important to teenagers and hair was a major part of that. “We had 13,14,15-year-olds actually donating their image to someone else.”
And when youngsters ran a 100-mile relay race, not only did they carry their race numbers but the name of a cancer patient being helped by the trust and their type of cancer.
The trust has so far managed to raise £2 million towards the cost of the unit. So far it has built 25 similar facilities across the country and it has plans for 10 more, providing specialist support for young patients.