House Charity Raises £2900 for Teenage Cancer Trust
This article was submitted by outgoing Elgar House Captain Will Osborne
Bournemouth School has an excellent record of supporting charities. Each of the five Houses is allotted a week every year to organise events and raise money to support a variety of different causes.
On Wednesday 26th in the Assembly Hall, Elgar and Darwin Houses witnessed the handover of a cheque of £2900 in aid of Teenage Cancer trust to old boy Ben Cull. Ben was a member of Elgar House from 2010-2015 before signing a contract with Southampton Football Club. Soon after, however, he was diagnosed with cancer in his knee, and has since undergone an intense programme of chemotherapy. Both Houses therefore thought it appropriate to support Teenage Cancer Trust for their respective charity weeks as, through Ben, it has a very real connection to the school.
Three weeks before our House charity week was set to commence, Mr. Cook mentioned that I had to come up with a money making idea of unparalleled genius for a charity as yet unchosen – typical Cook.
In light of the unfortunate fact that Ben, our friend and old form member, was going through chemo for a rare cancer in his knee, and for the support that the trust provides, Teenage Cancer Trust was always going to be the right decision for our chosen charity. Deciding on the events to host was, however, a lot trickier. A teachers’ quiz show, a football tournament and various other ideas sprung up in discussions between the prefects, and eventually we devised a plan of five events for the week: the classic cake sale, an even more classic raffle, a daily tuck shop run by Maximilian Miramon in 9E, a daily gaming challenge and, finally, selling Elgar form photos.
As someone who likes to throw themselves into the deep end, I don’t think that I had realised organising such a packed week, from coordinating the prefects to gathering prizes, would be so difficult. Thankfully, it all went swimmingly.
I’d also like to recognise the extreme generosity of some local businesses and school parents in preparation for the charity: Snowtrax, Farmer Palmers, barber shops, a florist, several driving instructors and even a roller disco all gave prizes for the raffle.
The form photos were especially successful, raising around £900 in a truly vast sum of shrapnel, some of which went on to fund an impressive arsenal of Easter eggs to supplement the raffle prizes. In fact, we ran out of raffle tickets to sell; a charity week first from my experience! The students exhibited the same generosity during the mass exodus to the Old Gym for the cake sale. A lesson to charity reps and fundraisers: never underestimate the power of a cake sale.
The idea to do form photos was a stroke of genius. It employed the services of some talented student photographers and the specialist printer Paul Williams. Max’s tuck shop was a favourite as ever, catering to a crowd of voracious regulars all week. The only failure was the gaming challenge, which, due to the ol’ ‘slight technical hitch’, had to be abandoned. With the plethora of events going on around the school, though, I don’t really think anyone really cared.
The photos and raffle prizes were distributed and the money was counted. The prefect team had more than proved their worth with their outstanding diligence and selfless hard work. Elgar House raised a total of £1600 for the Teenage Cancer Trust. Combine that with Darwin’s sum of £1300 from their disco and raffle, raised during their charity week led by Finn Graham, and we had a healthy cheque to return to the man who got us all raising the money in the first place.
Ben and his dad, Simon, were welcomed warmly by all who had known them in Ben’s Bournemouth School years. It was incredibly gratifying to be able to hand over a cheque that meant so much to them and the charity they are linked with. We aren’t sure exactly what the money will be spent on but it will most likely be used to build a new specialist cancer unit in the UK where teenage cancer sufferers can not only be treated, but can socialise and relax with family and friends. What we do know now is that our school has done something to be proud of and that we have contributed to the means to improve the lives of so many and make their hellish situations just that much more bearable.
I hope Ben picks up where he left off at Southampton and I wish him all the very best for the future.