SIXTH form students from the Moorlands are set to record a charity single in memory of a teacher. Teenagers at Cheadle Academy Sixth Form College have been singing in supermarkets to raise funds for the North Staffordshire Douglas Macmillan Hospice which provides care for patients diagnosed with any life limiting illness and their families. Since December 2017, the choir has raised an incredible £14,500 for the charity which is locally known as the “Dougie Mac”, and will now record and release a song with help from Staffordshire University and performer Jonathan Wilkes.
Student Alfie Walford had the original idea to raise money in memory of teacher and senior assistant principal Craig Beverley who received end of life care at the Dougie Mac when he was diagnosed with cancer.
Alfie, aged 18, said: “As a group we really cannot believe how big our fund-raising has become.
“What started out as some carol singing in memory of our teacher, Mr Beverley, has turned into something huge.
“We know that Mr Beverley would have loved the chance to get involved with a project like this, which makes it all the more special.
“Let’s hope we can raise even more vital funds for the Dougie Mac.”
After the students made a public appeal to Jonathan Wilkes on social media, the Stoke-born singer and performer has agreed to join the choir of more than 40 students to record a song which Mr Beverley performed with his band and used to sing to students.
Jonathan said: “I’m amazed at what this brilliant group of youngsters has achieved so far and I can’t wait to help them raise loads more money for the fantastic Dougie Mac. I’m as excited as they are.”
Next month, Jonathan will visit Cheadle Academy to meet the pupils and practice the song “My Oh My” ahead of recording in Staffordshire University’s state-of-the art Cadman Studios later in the year.
Sixth form student Jack Hammond, aged 17, said: “For me the choir was a good opportunity to do a little bit of good over Christmas last year.
“It has been so much more successful than I could ever have imagined.
“I cannot wait to see where it will take us in the future and more importantly how much more money we can raise for the Dougie Mac.”
George Bowyer, aged 18, added: “It feels brilliant to all come together and do something for such a good cause.
“I love seeing people’s reactions to the choir when they walk into a supermarket. It makes us all feel a sense of pride.”
Laura Allsopp, leader of the sixth form, said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity for our students. This group are so dedicated and what started as a small choir has grown and grown.
“It is really lovely to see a significant number of our sixth form students giving up their free time in order to benefit those in our local community.
“I am so incredibly proud to be a part of such a wonderful project.”
Donna Adams, Head of Fundraising and Lottery at Douglas MacMillan Hospice, said: “We are delighted that students at Cheadle Sixth Form have delivered far beyond their initial pledge and through their fantastic fundraising efforts, raised £14,500 for the hospice.
“This really is a fantastic sum of money that will make a great contribution to help fund the care services that we’re able to provide at Dougie Mac.”
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