Fundraising helps local charities

Just before half term, students from The Whitehaven Academy presented cheques to two organisations, the Special Care Baby Unit at West Cumberland Hospital and Age UK West Cumbria. The money was raised by students and the academy community taking part in a sponsored walk earlier in the year.

Over a hundred students, former students, staff and parents completed the fourth whole school sponsored walk and raised £4,306, which was divided between the Special Care Baby Unit at West Cumberland Hospital and Age UK West Cumbria, spanning both ends of the age spectrum.

Organiser Rob Huck, who has won a National Teaching Award for School and Community Involvement and an MBE from the Queen for Services to Education said: “Throughout the 30 years that I have taught here, I have never ceased to be amazed by the kindness, generosity and support that my colleagues, the school and the wider community have provided for the various events I have organised over the years to raise funds for a variety of worthy causes, locally, nationally and internationally. The overall figure is now in excess of £52,000. Three of the biggest sums raised have been for the sponsored walk which we have organised in five year cycles, with £2,700 for the Meningitis Appeal, £11,700 for the Henderson Suite and West Cumbria Hospice at Home and an astonishing £18,200 for the teenage cancer care unit at Newcastle Royal Victoria Infirmary and the Well Child Charity for terminally ill babies and children. Internationally we sent £1,700 to Kosova refugees during the civil war in 1998 and for the last 23 years we have sent over 2,200 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. We were delighted to present SCUBU and Age UK with cheques for £2,150”.

SCUBA spokesperson Jayne McCart said: “The unit intends to buy some new comfortable, adjustable chairs for recovering mums to breast feed their babies and also a new cot so that twin babies can be nursed together”.

Age UK will use the money to buy a high quality, state of the art tablet for the senior citizens to research their family histories and write and record their life stories. Anne Broome, Age UK West Cumbria, said: “We are purchasing a My Life System which is a Digital Reminiscence Therapy software. This is a system which is interactive, regionally selected and specifically chosen to spark recollections that can form the basis of conversation. It will help staff and loved ones learn more about the individual’s interests and capture the life of the person both past, present and future through life story work. This can be used on a one-to-one basis or in a group activity.”

A big thank you and well done to everyone who helped organise and took part.