Schools Battle it out to Succeed!

Schools from South Lakes and Furness have once again achieved fantastic results in St Mary’s Hospice’s annual Battle to Succeed challenge. Four schools have taken part in the Apprentice style challenge, supported by local businesses and judged by a panel of experts, to raise vital funds for the hospice.

Schools taking part in 2023 include Furness Academy, George Hastwell, Newbridge House School and Ulverston Victoria High School. Each of the schools teamed up with a local business: Ørsted, The Cumberland Building Society, Stollers and Napthens. With each company sharing their time, skills and support, to act as mentor and providing £30 to get their team started.

Event sponsors Ørsted funded the awards presentation evening held at Furness Academy on 7th June. Supported by expert judges: Sam Procter from Charnleys Home and Garden, Roz Buchanan – St Mary’s Hospice Trustee and Frank Stretton Director of 32West.

St Mary’s Hospice’s Ali Alger compered the awards evening with selected teams from Furness Academy, George Hastwell School and Newbridge House School presenting their projects: “This awards evening is a celebration of skills, talents and kind-heartedness of students who have embraced St Mary‘s Hospice and the challenges set through Battle to Succeed. We know they have worked incredibly hard, learnt so much and will make a huge difference to local patients living with advancing illness their carers and families.

While there have been some big celebrations this year already, the Coronation, Eurovision, Britain’s Got Talent Final! Tonight is all about you. The inspirational young people who have picked up the challenge and run with it. It has been a journey and I am sure it hasn’t all been easy, but ‘every accomplishment starts with the decision to try’.”

Helen Carlson, St Mary’s Hospice Head of Fundraising: “Battle to Succeed is an inspirational event that we feel privileged and honoured to organise. We are always bowled over by the tenacity, creativity and fun the children inject into their groups. All skills which will take them far in life. Thank you to Stollers, Ørsted, The Cumberland and Napthens for their mentoring and expertise. Everyone has worked so hard to make it a really worthwhile project in so many ways. With special thanks to sponsors Ørsted for making the event possible and Furness Academy for hosting the event so brilliantly.”

Each Battle to Succeed participant received a certificate and special awards were presented: Challenges Overcome – joint winners Boys’ Bricks and Dreamers England, both groups from Furness Academy, Presentation Skills – Sweet Dreams, from Furness Academy, Originality – George Hastwell School, Money Raised – Newbridge House School, and Overall Winners – Boys’ Bricks from Furness Academy.

Sam Kell from Furness Academy: “It’s an amazing opportunity for students to be creative and show enterprise skills to raise money for an amazing charity. I’m so proud of them.”

The Sweet Dreams team who raised a fantastic £154.30 said: “£113 of our money came from donations, where people just gave to St Mary’s but didn’t get a treat. This shows just how important the work of St Mary’s is – people are touched by the work they do and many people rely on their service.”

Maya Procter, spokesperson for Ørsted: “Ørsted is really proud to be part of the Battle to Succeed event. We had the pleasure of going to Furness Academy. And it’s great to meet the students, see their ideas, and over the weeks how they have flourished. They are really passionate about it which is amazing to see.”

The grand total raised through Battle to Succeed will be announced soon.

For information on any of the events or to find out more on how you can support the hospice call the fundraising team on 01229 580 305 or by emailing