Budding fundraiser James Duell has exceeded his target to raise £1,000 for the Thorpe Hall Hospice in memory of his mum Michelle.
James, 12, a Year 8 pupil at Casterton Business and Enterprise College started fundraising with his brother Dylan, nine, for Sue Ryder’s Thorpe Hall Hospice back in December after their mum sadly passed away from cancer in October.
Mum of four, Michelle Beniston, aged 33, spent her last few days being cared for at the hospice in Longthorpe, Peterborough.
The hospice helped support James and his siblings, Dylan, nine, Megan, six, and Martha, five months, during their mum’s illness.
Since then James and Dylan have thrown themselves into fundraising for the hospice and to date have raised a ‘phenomenal’ £1,576 through a number of exciting fundraising activities.
James said: “I didn’t expect to raise that much money, it has come as a big surprise. We have had lots of fun whilst doing the fundraising and I’m really happy that it is going so well.”
Fundraising activities have included tinsel days and non-uniform days at Casterton Business and Enterprise College and at St Nicholas Primary School in Cottesmore where Dylan is a pupil.
The brothers have also been busy selling Lights of Love baubles to their neighbours in Exton, as part of the Lights of Love tree that took pride of place in the school at Christmas.
A large amount of support has come from generous donations from family, friends and even strangers. After being featured in the Mercury, James and Dylan received a number of donations from readers who had been touched by their story.
James said: “I would like to say thank you to everyone who has helped me and brother raise the money. I would also like to say a big thank you to my dad who helped us with our fundraising ideas.”
Liz Goddard, James’ tutor said: “He has done brilliant to raise all of that money, it just shows what you can do when you put your mind to it.
“The fact that other people have taken on fundraising tasks for Thorpe Hall is a testament to James and all that he has done.
“It’s been really good for him to focus all his energy into fundraising.”
Although the boys have exceeded their target, the fundraising doesn’t stop there - they now have set their sights on raising £2,000 for the hospice at a number of events they have planned for the next few months.
A number of schools in the area will be holding a Valentine-themed non-school uniform day on February 13.
They have also organised a family disco at the Danish Invader in Stamford, which will be taking place on March 21.
For more information about the upcoming fundraising activities and to make a donation please visit James and Dylan’s fundraising page at http://michelle.beniston.muchloved.com/
Two members of staff from Casterton Business and Enterprise College have been so inspired by James’ efforts that they have decided to help raise money for Thorpe Hall as well.
Claire Rawes, who is head of English at the school, and her husband Neil, who is vice-principal, will both be running the Stamford Striders’ St Valentine 30k Race on February 15.
Claire said: “James is a lovely lad and we’ve been inspired by him to raise money for the hospice. So many people have been touched by James’ story in the paper and felt moved to donate.
“We will be running in memory of James’ mum and our fellow colleague Karen Abrahams who sadly passed away in November and spent her last few weeks at Thorpe Hall.”
To make a donation visit Claire and Neil’s just giving page at https://www.justgiving.com/RawesRun/