A caring 12-year-old schoolgirl from Shirebrook has launched a new fundraising group so she can continue the charity work of an aunt, struck down by ill health.
Caitlin Tucker joined forces with her friend, Taya Brocklehurst, also 12, to set up the Student Charity Team, the first group of its kind at Shirebrook Academy.
She had been inspired by her aunt, Jackie Taylor, who has had to quit raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support because of a bad back.
Now Caitlin and Taya have lots of fundraising ideas for good causes, including inviting people into the school for tea and scones, teachers- versus-pupils football matches and renting a stall on Shirebrook Market Place to sell refreshments and offer advice on how to spot the first signs of cancer.
The girls have also drawn up a list of possible charities to benefit, including Macmillan, Water Aid, and the Dogs Trust.
Caitlin and Taya have already generated £65.15 for MacMillan at a Winter Wonderland event at the Academy, and have even secured a pledge from the Shirebrook branch of Lloyd’s bank, where Caitlin’s cousin, Nikki, works, to match their fundraising efforts up to a maximum of £500.
Caitlin said: “My auntie and a friend raised lots of money for MacMillan, but when they both became so ill, they had to stop, I said to Taya that we should do something instead.
“A lot of charities need help, but not a lot of people care enough to do something about it. My auntie has always encouraged me to do something to help others, even if it’s the littlest thing.”
The girls were given the green light to set up the group after they wrote and delivered a presentation outlining their plans to the Academy. Taya said: “A lot of our friends say the group is a good thing, and our parents say they’re proud of us, so we’re looking forward to getting going.”
School principal Mark Cottingham said: “We often get students coming to ask if they can organise one-off charity events but I have never heard of students requesting to set up their own group to organise events on a regular basis. Caitlin and Taya are extremely enthusiastic and we are looking forward to seeing what they come up with.”