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Students ‘smashed’ £1k target at St Francis’ Race For Life

Students at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Primary School in Crawley held their very own Race for Life event on Friday (22 June) and smashed their target, raising over £1,500 so far for Cancer Research UK.

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Kellyann McGovern, mother of year 1 student, Macaragh and part of the PFA committee.

While many Crawley residents were readying themselves for the Tilgate Race for Life, which took place on Saturday (23 June), one school was already running.

I was welcomed into St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Primary School with smiles; I could tell straight away I was in a real tight-knit, friendly school.

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There was a buzz of excitement in the air – and it wasn’t coming from the bees that were out on such a beautiful sunny day – as the school was just about ready to begin its own Race for Life.

The Crawley Town FC mascot, Reggie the Red, attended the event too. and this only added to the excitement.

Students were excited to meet Reggie the Red.

Students were showing off their dance moves and exchanging high-fives with Reggie, who even joined in on the run!

Emma Piggott, Secretary for the Parents & Friends Association (PFA) at St. Francis said:

“The PFA are providing tea, coffee and cakes as well as volunteers for the water station and martialling. All profits made today go to Cancer Research UK.

“The initial target was £1,000 but we’ve gone straight through that so we’re hoping to get to £2,000.

“The students cannot wait, I’ve got two children here and they’re so excited. They’re dressing up today, dying their hair and there’s just this real excitement.

“It’s the second year we’ve run it and this year it looks a lot bigger. The organisation is brilliant, it looks great out there today and the kids all look great because they’ve dressed up this year and it’s nice to see all the parents coming and supporting it.

“It’s a real community feel and it gets everyone in school to see what’s going on and raising money.”

Kellyann McGovern, mother of year 1 student, Macaragh was on hand to help out:

“My son is here doing one of the races and he is so excited about it.

“Every child got a sponsor form and also we did an online sponsorship. Last time I checked we smashed our £1,000 target.

Kellyann is part of the PFA committee and helps out at a lot of the school events. This time, she was helping on the water station.

“The PFA committee ourselves do a lot of behind-the-scenes work, as in getting things set up but the school, and the teachers, have done the most fantastic job on getting obviously the race set up itself and everything laid out. They’ve done a brilliant job.

“A lot of work goes into it, but it’s well worth it for a good cause. I think dressing in pink was one of the most exciting things for them today! We’ve got some lovely outfits as you can see – including myself, I’ve got into the spirit of it too as you can see.”

Tim Hallett, Headteacher at St Francis of Assisi Catholic Primary School, said:

“In summary this is just typical of our school community, how we come together, throughout the school year and support so many important causes.

“Today is just one example of that – supporting Cancer Research, a very important charity – and the children are clearly enjoying themselves. It’s a wonderful afternoon, the parents have come in full support and we’re having a fabulous afternoon.”

Students ran different distances depending on their year group – with many running a fantastic 3km!

And they’re off! Students (and some parents) begin the run!

Year 4 teacher, Olly Lambert, put a huge amount of effort into preparing for the day and continued to do so throughout the event.

He said:

“The children and parents who took part were superb and the day was a massive success, the staff and everyone involved made it so easy to run. It was fantastic seeing everyone take part for a great cause and the whole community come together.

“We have currently raised £1600 for cancer research and donations are still coming in so hoping to break the £2000 mark! Personally like to thank the PFA and all the staff who helped to make the event run smoothly.”

Mr. Lambert’s Year 4s – cheering on their friends.

There’s still time to donate to the cause, just click here to go to the school’s fundraising page.

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Charity

Largest charity Dragon Boat race at Tilgate Park ever!

This year’s festival was the hospice’s biggest ever to date, with more teams than ever before taking to the lake.

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St Catherine’s Hospice annual Dragon Boat Festival returned to Tilgate Park with a splash yesterday (Sunday 9 September), in a fantastic day of free family fun!

Credit: SARA FERMORE AND TOBY PHILLIPS PHOTOGRAPHY.

Teams were made up of local businesses, including Crawley teams: Irwin Mitchell, Elekta, Grant Thornton, UK Power Networks, B&CE, CAE Training & Services, Vines BMW & Mini, Childcare & Learning Cranbrook, Inspiration Healthcare, KPMG, Search, Siemens, Smith & Western, St Catherine’s Hospice, Thales, Virgin Media, Novo Nordisk, and Oriel High School
who battled it out to be crowned Dragon Boat Champions 2018.

Credit: SARA FERMORE AND TOBY PHILLIPS PHOTOGRAPHY.

Speaking on the day, George De Silvo, Corporate Associate from Irwin Mitchell said:

“The Irwin Mitchell team has really enjoyed getting involved with the Dragon Boat Festival. St Catherine’s is our Charity of the Year and so we’ve been raising funds for them since January. Hearing about the Dragon Boat Festival got the whole office excited and motivated to do as much as we can to help such a great cause. I’m so pleased our Noah’s Ark survived!”

Credit: SARA FERMORE AND TOBY PHILLIPS PHOTOGRAPHY.

Ian Watson, Head of Software Engineering at Elekta said,

“We’ve been taking part in Dragon Boats for many years. It’s a big event and brings so many people from local businesses and the local community together for a great cause. What St Catherine’s does resonates a lot with what we do at Elekta, helping people at a moment of need in their lives. The hospice is a great cause to support.”

St Catherine’s team, Credit: SARA FERMORE AND TOBY PHILLIPS PHOTOGRAPHY.

Grant Thornton were another Crawley team competing. Between races, John O’Mahony, Partner at Grant Thornton, said:

“We’re very proud to be associated with St Catherine’s Hospice. They do wonderful work and we’ve had great fun fundraising. Our team ‘Sea’s the Day’ are making great progress during our heats and we’re feeling very optimistic!”

Credit: SARA FERMORE AND TOBY PHILLIPS PHOTOGRAPHY.

Those on the shorelines tried their luck at traditional fête games such as hook a duck and a penalty shootout, whilst younger visitors sprung into action on giant inflatables. Visitors also tucked into tasty food from onsite vendors and enjoyed refreshing drinks from the onsite bar, provided by Sussex Event Bars, who donated a percentage of profits to St Catherine’s.

Credit: SARA FERMORE AND TOBY PHILLIPS PHOTOGRAPHY.

On the lake, teams showed true team spirit as they raced across the water in Chinese Dragon Boats.

DHL team, Credit: Sara Fermore and Toby Phillips Photography.

After a full day of races, DHL Express powered through to be crowned champions, with a winning time of 57 seconds, which was two seconds faster than last year’s winners.

The Elekta Crew, Credit: SARA FERMORE AND TOBY PHILLIPS PHOTOGRAPHY.

Amanda Phelan, Operations Manager at DHL Express, said:

“This is our third year competing and it’s always such a lovely, fantastic day. The second year we took part we came in at second place so we were here to win today. And we’re thrilled we managed it!”

Grant Thornton, Credit: SARA FERMORE AND TOBY PHILLIPS PHOTOGRAPHY.

Close behind, in second place, were Vines Ltd with Vines Beemer taking the third place trophy.

Vines Beemer, Credit: Sara Fermore and Toby Phillips Photography.

Winning teams were presented with medals and trophies by Giles Tomsett, Chief Executive at St Catherine’s, and The Worshipful Mayor of Crawley, Councillor Carlos Portal Castro.

Vines MINIons, Credit: SARA FERMORE AND TOBY PHILLIPS PHOTOGRAPHY.

Vines of Gatwick proudly sponsored the festival, alongside entering two teams. Darren Buche, MINI

Sales Executive at Vines of Gatwick said:

“Every year, we have a fantastic day at St Catherine’s Dragon Boat Festival. It’s been great seeing even more teams competing this year to show their support for the amazing work St Catherine’s does caring for people in the community around us. It’s a fun day out for us as colleagues and it’s brilliant to raise money for such a worthwhile cause. We’re pleased that our efforts will help more people in our community in the future. We’re already looking forward to signing up for next year’s race!”

Credit: SARA FERMORE AND TOBY PHILLIPS PHOTOGRAPHY.

St Catherine’s Dragon Boat Festival is one of the local hospice’s biggest annual fundraisers. The event will help them provide expert end of life care to local terminally ill people and their friends and family, when life comes full circle. Currently, the hospice can only care for one in three people. But with the support of the community at events like Dragon Boats, the hospice wants to make sure that nobody faces death and loss alone.

Credit: SARA FERMORE AND TOBY PHILLIPS PHOTOGRAPHY.

Suzanne Davis, Corporate Fundraiser at St Catherine’s, said:

“We’d like to thank everyone who supported or took part in this year’s Dragon Boat Festival. Your efforts take us a step nearer to reaching everyone who needs us. We hope you all enjoyed the day as much as we did!

UK Power Networks, Credit: Sara Fermore and Toby Phillips Photography.

To find out about future St Catherine’s events, or how you can support the hospice, visit: www.stch.org.uk.

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