Students help Christmas tree fund grow

Sixth-form students from Ivel Valley School pictured with some the cakes baked by staff for their fundraising coffee morning.

Sixth-form students from Ivel Valley School pictured with some the cakes baked by staff for their fundraising coffee morning.

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Kind-hearted pupils from a Biggleswade special school helped organise a coffee morning to help pay for a touching gift for St John’s Hospice.

A group of sixth formers from Ivel Valley School helped run and staff the fundraising event at Sue Ryder in Moggerhanger.

Hospice gardener Andy Williams with students

Hospice gardener Andy Williams with students

Teacher Justine Francis said: “Four of our students volunteer here every Wednesday morning, working in the garden and also in the nearly new shop, as part of the school’s commitment to helping in the community and improving our pupils’ life skills. When the hospice gardener Andy Williams – who works closely with our students - mentioned that there wasn’t a real Christmas tree in the gardens, we thought it would be nice to get one, so we came up with a way to raise the funds. Other pupils from the class joined the four who work here to help on the day, so it was a real team effort.”

Student David Archer, aged 18, said: “The coffee morning is to raise money for the tree, which will be like a memory tree, where you can put baubles on it with the names of people you want to remember.”

School staff donated a mouthwatering range of home-made cakes, and the pupils worked with teaching assistants Sarah Boness and Sharon Houseman to ask local businesses for raffle prizes, make banners, set up, and run the event, which raised more than £300 on Wednesday, July 13.

Caroline Carthy, hospice shop manager, said she was hugely impressed with the students’ efforts.

She added: “We thought it was a lovely idea and they’ve worked hard and really excelled themselves. We love having them help us – it’s the second year they’ve been coming here and we’ve seen them really grow in confidence and flourish as their independent skills have improved. They should all be proud of themselves.”