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Monday, 20 October 2014

Fund-raising pupils win regional trophy

ENTERPRISING students have won a county prize in recognition of their charity fund-raising campaign.

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PRIZE WINNERS: Year 9 pupils at St Bernard’s RC School in Barrow who won the county prize at the Cumbria final of the Citizenship Foundation’s Giving Nation Challenge. Pictured are (back) Beth Hunter, Amber Millard, Nicholas Fishwick, and (front) Philip McArthur, Robbie Gaffney, and Jasmine AldredJON GRANGER REF: 50008090B000

A group of pupils from St Bernard’s Catholic High School, in Barrow, were winners at the Cumbria final of the Citizenship Foundation’s Giving Nation Challenge.

Julia Geere, enterprise learning adviser for Cumbria County Council’s children’s services, introduced the scheme to Cumbria after getting in touch with the foundation.

Over the past year Miss Geere has worked with the Giving Nation team to train teachers and engage a wide range of schools to set up a social enterprise campaign.

The Year Nine students at St Bernard’s decided they wanted to use their budget to carry out a project to support Cancer Research UK due to the number of staff, students and family members who have been affected by cancer.

The 13 and 14-year-olds created their own brand called Souled Out and they organised a successful music concert, featuring three local bands, at The Engineers Club in Abbey Road, Barrow. The event attracted more than 100 people, who paid an entry fee of £3 each.

They raised extra funds with cake sales and designed their own eco-friendly carrier bags.

The campaign raised more than £350 for the charity.

Miss Geere invited representatives from the foundation in London to judge schools from across Cumbria.

Students from St Bernard’s; Sandgate School, Kendal; Stainburn School, Workington; and Ullswater Community College presented their projects at The Swan Hotel in Newby Bridge on July 1.

St Bernard’s impressed the judges to win the regional trophy.

Amber Millard, a St Bernard’s pupil, said: “The Giving Nation Challenge is an extremely rewarding experience. You can raise money for a cause you feel strongly about while learning skills that can help you in the future.”

Robbie Gaffney, the St Bernard’s team leader, said: “Cancer Research UK is a great cause as cancer has had a massive impact within the school community.”

Jennifer Whittam, the head of geography at St Bernard’s who worked with the school team, said: “The students’ achievements over five weeks has been amazing and showed a great deal of determination and commitment.

“This is an excellent example of young people doing something to help their own community.”

More than 15 schools in Cumbria have been taking part in the Giving Nation Challenge recently and the project is to continue in the next academic year.

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