October 31 2014 Latest news:
By Lauren Rogers
Friday, July 25, 2014
Schoolchildren from Southtown are raising the roof with a self-penned song about battling cancer.
Edward Worlledge Junior School students Jay Jackman, Hayden Langmead, Chloe Smith, Teddy Tavender formed the group Cancer Beats after being challenged to ‘make a difference’. The 11-year-olds wrote a song during class after watching a documentary about Stephen Sutton, the Staffordshire teenager whose #thumbsupforStephen campaign raised millions for charity before his death in May.
Teachers were so impressed they suggested the youngsters perform it at the school summer fete. A few weeks later they sang outside Tesco in Great Yarmouth and today they will be singing live at the James Paget University Hospital’s board meeting.
Teaching assistants Pam Branch and Casey Wright said they could not be prouder of the young students who were inspired by Stephen’s story and have since raised more than £560 for the Louise Hamilton Centre in Gorleston.
“It all started when the Go-Givers project came to school and challenged the children to make a difference,” explained Pam, a higher level TA for Volta class.
“The whole school talked about ways to make a difference to issues close to their hearts and they chose cancer. The children in Volta class did some research into brain tumours and also came across the Louise Hamilton Centre and decided that was who they were going to fundraise for.”
Jay, Hayden, Chloe and Teddy penned the song after the class spilt into groups, some writing poems, others discussing how to raise cash.
“This is something they sat down and came up with themselves,” said Casey, who has a background in drama and music.
“A lot of people hear the song and think the children must have had help but, apart from tweaking a few of the lyrics, they really did it all themselves. For 11 year olds they’ve got such a brilliant attitude; they really do care.
“They want to overcome cancer being a taboo subject.
“I think they were really inspired when we showed them a clip of Stephen Sutton, and it was not long after he’d passed away, talking about going to school the day after chemotherapy.”
Edward Worlledge’s music teacher developed a backing track for the Cancer Beats’ song and the school is now in touch with arts organisation Voice Cloud about getting the track professionally produced and recorded.
To help the students understand where the money they raise is going, staff from the Louise Hamilton Centre have since visited the school to explain how palliative care supports hundreds of people with long-term or life-limiting illness.