Pupils, parents and staff at a Brownhills school have raised £1,626.37 for St Giles Hospice with a week of fun-filled fundraising activities after becoming inspired by a school project.

Walsall Wood Primary School held the charity events between March 7th-11th after one of the pupils, whose dad had been supported by St Giles, asked the school council to raise money for the charity.

The school council agreed to help and led on the event but soon teachers were volunteering to get involved as well.

Lucy Derry, Regional Fundraiser at St Giles Hospice, with Walsall Wood School pupils

Running, swimming, skipping, fancy dress and three-legged races, cake sales and throwing sponges at a teacher were just some of the ways the cash was raised for the hospice. Pupils also sold merchandise including t-shirts, piggy banks, teddies, pin badges and water bottles.

Pupils decided to support St Giles after the school signed up to the hospice’s new school education initiative, Learn, Raise, Shine. Taking part taught the children about the work of the hospice, encouraged conversations around bereavement that wouldn’t otherwise have taken place, and inspired them to reach their incredible fundraising total.

Gemma Wainwright, learning mentor at the school, said: “We are incredibly proud of the kids. We set a total of £300 as our target, with no idea that we could raise as much as £1,626.

“Over the years a number of families have told us about the support they have had from St Giles so we’ve always been aware of the good work that the hospice does. Every class in the school has been touched by the work of St Giles in one way or another.

“The pupils sold merchandise and collected the money and they did a presentation about St Giles and the importance of fundraising. It was a really useful learning experience and helped them to develop their skills.

“The children come here to learn and we focus on that so we don’t always know what their life stories are or what experiences they may have had around issues like bereavement.

“This project helped them to open up and start to talk about loss. It made all of the children think about bereavement, whether they had experienced it or not, and helped them to think about where they might get help and support if they needed it.”

Gemma said the pupils had really enjoyed the week of activities and that they absolutely loved it when the teachers took part. “It showed we were all in it together,” she said. “Parents got involved as well and everyone worked so hard to make the fundraising a success because St Giles Hospice is a really personal cause for our pupils and their families.

“Sometimes kids can feel a bit powerless in the world, but taking part in something like this showed them how they can take the skills and talents that they have and make a real difference. You don’t need to do an amazing feat or anything outlandish – by working together with a common goal you can have an impact.”

Lucy Derry, Regional Fundraiser at St Giles Hospice said: “Learn, Raise, Shine is a great way to introduce children to the idea of ‘giving back’ and encourage them to engage with their local community.

“It aims to inspire a younger generation to get excited about fundraising and understand in an engaging and age appropriate way the role of St Giles and how it supports local people and their families, living with a terminal illness.”

Any schools wanting further information about Learn, Raise, Shine or to sign up can visit https://www.stgileshospice.com/learn-raise-shine/