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Best ever fundraising day in memory of former pupil

Frogmore Community College raises more than £2,000 for hospital where former pupil James Crewdson was treated before his death last year

Former Frogmore Community College pupil James Crewdson, who died just before Christmas 2013

A school dedicated four fun-packed days to fundraising following the death of a pupil from serious illness.

Pupils and staff at Frogmore Community College raised £2,262 in memory of Year 8 student James Crewdson, who died just before Christmas.

James, 13, from Yateley was born with a serious intestinal problem which meant he was fed intravenously every night via a central line sited by his heart.

He was assessed for a small bowel and liver transplant towards the end of 2013 but his condition deteriorated and he needed a kidney transplant as well.

James would have been only the second child ever to have a multi-visceral transplant at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. He fought bravely but slipped away on December 21 last year.

Last week, his old school held a different event each day, from daily cake and sweet cone sales to inter-house and staff jigsaw competitions, a raffle, ‘guess the amount of Lego bricks in the jar’ and a boisterous staff versus student netball match won by staff 7-1.

In the run up to last week’s event, students and staff had been buying silver Birmingham Children’s Hospital pin badges with a hand imprint on them and yellow smiley face badges with all proceeds going to the fundraising total.

Friday was ‘wear something yellow for James day’. His favourite colour was yellow and parents, students and staff gathered after college to plant two yellow forsythia bushes in the gardens adjacent to the library – James’s favourite place in school.

All of this was organised by a group of James’ close friends, as well as his sister Becky, who wanted to celebrate his life and raise money for Birmingham Children Hospital, where James had spent the last few weeks of his life.

Robert Crewdson, James’ father, said: “My wife Tracy and I have been so impressed, even before James officially started Frogmore, of how pro-active the school was in supporting him.

“He completed Year 7 and started Year 8, so was at the school for around 13 months.

“It is the first time we have ever had to go through something like this and it has been very hard.

“I want to say thank you to the school and for the great job the children did.

“The school has become part of our family.”

Headteacher Sarah Howells said: “The college has had a fantastic community feel about it.

“I am immensely proud of all the students, staff, the parent teacher association and parents for the fantastic support they have given, be it making cakes or sweet cones, taking part in all the activities or just donating money to such a worthwhile cause.”

The fundraising committee thanked Heathlands Garden Centre in Wokingham and Redfields Garden Centre in Church Crookham for donating the forsythia bushes and to everyone who made it such a special week.

The total raised over the four days, May 13 to 16, was the largest amount ever raised at the college in Potley Hill Road in such a short space of time.

 
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