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School Pupil Launches New Charity Group With Her Friend To Carry On Her Aunt’s Good Deeds

16th January 2017
News, Bolsover

A 12-year-old schoolgirl from Shirebrook has launched a new charity fundraising group so that she can continue the work of her aunt, who was forced to give up her own charity work due to ill-health.

Caitlin Tucker has started the group with fellow Shirebrook Academy student Taya Brocklehurst after she was inspired by her aunt, Jackie Taylor, who has had to quit raising money for MacMillan Cancer Support because of a bad back.

The group, called the Student Charity Team, is the first of its kind at the school and will undertake a series of fundraising initiatives during the year to collect funds for a number of good causes.

Ideas include inviting members of the community into the school, in Common Lane, for tea and scones, teachers versus pupils football matches and renting a stall in Shirebrook Market Place to sell refreshments and offer advice on how to spot the first signs of cancer.

The girls have also drawn up a list of possible charities, including Macmillan, Water Aid, and the Dogs Trust.

Caitlin and Taya have already started their fundraising efforts, having raised £65.15 for MacMillan at the Academy’s recent Winter Wonderland event, and have even secured a pledge from the Shirebrook branch of Lloyd’s bank – where Caitlin’s cousin, Nikki, works – to match their fundraising efforts up to a maximum of £500.

Caitlin said: “My auntie and a friend raised lots of money for MacMillan but when they both became so ill they had to stop, I said to Taya that we should do something instead.

“We decided we didn’t want to just do a one-off, though, but instead we wanted something that was set in stone and would do lots of things for different charities through the year.

“You see a lot about charities needing help when you go on the internet but not a lot of people care enough to do something about it. My auntie has always encouraged me to do something to help others, even if it’s the littlest thing, so Taya and I decided that we would set up a group and get other people to help us raise as much money as we can on a regular basis.” 

The girls were given the green light to set up the group after they wrote and delivered a presentation outlining their plans to the Academy’s senior leadership team.

Taya added: “We practised the presentation over and over and were really nervous when we gave it, but it went really well and they said we could go ahead.

“A lot of our friends say that it’s a good thing that we’re setting up the group and our parents say that they’re really proud of us, so we’re looking forward to getting going.”

School principal Mark Cottingham said: “We often get students coming to ask if they can organise one-off charity events but I have never heard of students requesting to set up their own group to organise events on a regular basis before.

“When Caitlin and Taya first approached me I said that they would have to present their idea to the whole SLT as a little test to see if they would see it through but to their credit they put together a wonderful presentation that had some people in the room on the edge of tears. “We do lots of charity activity through the year but anything that comes directly from the students has a much better chance of success then if staff suggests it. Caitlin and Taya are extremely enthusiastic about their plans and we are looking forward to seeing what they come up with.”

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