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Thorngrove School raise £40,000 in incredible year of fundraising

Thorngrove School in Berkshire chose to support The Brain Tumour Charity after pupil, Ned, was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Students of Thorngrove School present The Brain Tumour Charity with a fundraising cheque

A Burns Night Ball and silent auction,  Badminton Night, a group headshave by Ned’s close friends, and an impressive 3 Peaks Challenge from 9 year old Charlotte were just some of the activities tackled by Thorngrove School pupils during their year of fundraising.

One year on, and it all adds up to the truly remarkable total of £40,335 – more than the school has ever raised for charity before.

A woman talks at a dinner event
A selfie taken by two men on a riverside walk while raising funds for The Brain Tumour Charity
Students of Thorngrove school doing a cancer shaveathon

Thorngrove School was inspired to raise funds

The school chose to support The Brain Tumour Charity after Year 8 pupil, Ned, was diagnosed with a brain tumour. And it didn’t take long for staff and pupils to get stuck in to the challenge.

Braving the Shave

Stakes were raised early on when head teacher Nick Graham promised he would shave his own head if an initial total of £2,000 was reached.

Year 8 boys were only too willing to help with this task in a special assembly, which remains a highlight of the year’s fundraising!

Burns Night Ball

A Burns Night Ball and Silent auction raised an incredible £20,000. The Ball was attended by former student, Poppy, now 16. Poppy, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour aged 9, shared her story on the night.

Student of Thorngrove School throw hats in the air

A Marathon Walk

In April, PE teacher Mr Hart, who knows Ned well, walked a marathon distance along the Kennet and Avon Canal, from Honeystreet to Victoria Park in Newbury. Family, friends and pupils from Thorngrove joined him on the day, raising over £7,000.

His situation has had a profound effect on me and, helpless as we all feel in these situations, I felt I needed to show my support in some way.”  

Mike Hart, PE Teacher

Other highlights from a remarkable year included:

May: The school’s annual Fun Run, when pupils were told to come to school dressed in something that “raises a smile” – and set a fun assault course designed by the School Council

June: Pupil Charlotte hiked the National 3 Peaks – Ben Nevis, Snowden and Scafell Pike – achieving her ambition to tick them off all before she turned 10!

September: Teacher Mrs Ford took on the Great North Run, raising over £600.

A woman in The Brain Tumour Charity running vest smiles while holding her medal for The Great North Run
Charlotte waves during a hike of the Yorkshire Three Peaks
Students of Throngrove School present The Brain Tumour Charity with a cheque of their fundraising amount

Thorngrove School: Fundraising Finalists

The school’s fundraising efforts were recognized at the Independent Schools of the Year 2023 award when Thorngrove School was named as one of five finalists in the Development Award for Outstanding Fundraising Achievement Category.

Headteacher Nick Graham said:

“I couldn’t be prouder of the Thorngrove community coming together to raise such a significant sum for The Brain Tumour Charity.  The school council selected the charity for the 2022/23 school year after one of our Year 8 pupils was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2022. 

“This personal connection to Ned and his family spurred everyone on to pull out all the stops and we raised a staggering £40,335.  Fundraising activities included a fun run, badminton evening, aerobathon, marathon running and walking, a Burns Night Ball and some heads being shaved – mine included!

“We very much hope that this money will go some way to help improve the lives of those affected by a brain tumour diagnosis.”

Feeling inspired?

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