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Local Students Rise to the Challenge for St Catherine’s Hospice

Students from local schools taking part in St Catherine’s Hospice Five-O Project, have collectively raised more than £17,000 for local hospice care.

The students’ incredible fundraising achievements were celebrated at a glitzy awards night at the Holiday Inn, Gatwick last Thursday night (5 May). Watched by parents, teachers and mentors, pupils from Crawley’s Gatwick School, Thomas Bennett Community College and Hazelwick School and other competing schools presented their business plans and event ideas to a judging panel in a bid to win one of four awards.

With enthusiastic presentations and fundraising ideas ranging from ‘sponge the teacher’ to cake sales, mufti days and lip sync battles, selecting the winner of each award wasn’t an easy task for our judges. Schools scooping an award included:
Hazelwick School for the most money raised
Gatwick School for most pounds per pupil
Thomas Bennett Community College for best presentation
Tanbridge House School for most innovative fundraising idea which included a memory board of people’s memories and experiences of St Catherine’s.

Designed to develop students’ business skills, the Five-O Project challenged a team of six students ranging from Year 7 to sixth form from the participating schools to create a business plan and organise initiatives that would raise a minimum of £1,500 for St Catherine’s from an initial £50 investment. With support from 20 business mentors from NatWest, who sponsored this year’s project, most of the school pupils smashed their fundraising target. The pupils also benefitted from professional business advice and expertise as they planned their fundraising ideas across the 11 week challenge.

John Redfern, Head of Corporate (South East) at NatWest, said: “We’re really glad to support St Catherine’s Five-O Project. The opportunity to help smart, enthusiastic and driven young people to raise money for St Catherine’s, while preparing themselves for the working world, has been invaluable and incredibly rewarding.”

Gabi Field, Community and Events Fundraising Manager at St Catherine’s, sat on the judging panel and said: “The enthusiasm, creativity and dedication of the pupils was really impressive and it was great to see their ideas brought to life in their presentations. Each year, St Catherine’s needs to raise more than £6 million in voluntary donations so it’s important young people feel motivated to support us and understand the work we do caring for local people and their family and friends. I’d like to say a huge thank you to all the Five-O teams, their teachers, parents and NatWest mentors for their efforts and support.”

If you are interested in finding out more about the Five-O Project and how your school can get involved next year please contact the St Catherine’s Community Team on: 01293 447361 or via comfun@stch.org.uk

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