As part of Personal Development Year, 10 pupils at Laleham Gap School have found out how to organise to support a good cause and how rewarding making a difference can be.

Form Tutors Paul Ursell and Catherine Farrell explained “The idea was always the pupils did it all themselves. They chose the charity. They chose what to do. And then they would have to organise it all. And that was exactly what they did.”

The pupils chose a local charity, to support Joe Shaw – a fundraising cause this publication has already covered. They then organised a day when they baked and brought in cakes to sell. They also got prizes for a raffle. They had fun elements with a penalty shootout. The main prize for this was generously donated by Margate Football Club (a family ticket to one of their fixtures this season). They organised ‘hit the bullseye’ darts, a game of ‘higher or lower Uno’ and even a stall selling herbal teas!

“Whether it was the herbal teas or just the great organisation of the day by the pupils it was a really lovely day, chilled and supportive” explained Mr Ursell and Ms Farrell.

The icing on the cake wasn’t the cake sale (although that went down very well). It was the attendance of Joe and his mum Nancy. They came to thank the pupils and join in the fun! The fact they could come into the school at all was a direct result of the fundraising so far – as Joe now has access to a vehicle so he can get places.

Nancy told the pupils “It was a pleasure to be with you. Joe was overwhelmed with the whole afternoon. The children were just as much an inspiration to him to. Their support and enthusiasm was priceless and that alone made him so very happy.”

As well as pledging to keep in touch Nancy and Joe already have plans to come back into Laleham Gap to update the pupils on the continued progress Joe is making “so the children can see and feel part of his recovery.”

Mr Ursell explained that to raise over £150 at this time of year, close to the summer Fayre, was “really amazing,” but “even better was the connection we made, and the pupils can just see their actions can and do make a difference.”