School choir to record charity single in memory of teacher

Teenagers at Cheadle Academy Sixth Form College are set to record a charity single to raise vital funds for Dougie Mac.

Pupils have been singing in local supermarkets to raise funds and since December 2017, have raised an incredible £14.5k. They will now record and release a song with help from Staffordshire University – and popular singer and performer Jonathan Wilkes.

Student Alfie Walford had the original idea to raise money in memory of popular teacher and Senior Assistant Principal Craig Beverley who received end of life care at Dougie Mac when he was diagnosed with cancer.

Alfie, 18, explained: “As a group we really cannot believe how big it has become. What started out as some carol singing in memory of our teacher, Mr Beverley, has turned into something huge!

“We know that Mr Beverley would have loved the chance to get involved with a project like this, which makes it all the more special. Let’s hope we can raise even more vital funds for Dougie Mac!”

After the pupils made a public appeal to Jonathan Wilkes on social media, the Stoke-born singer will join the choir of more than 40 students to record a song which Mr Beverley performed with his band and used to sing to pupils.

Jonathan said: “I’m amazed at what this brilliant group of youngsters has achieved so far and I can’t wait to help them raise loads more money for the fantastic Dougie Mac. I’m as excited as they are!”

Next month, Jonathan will visit Cheadle Academy to meet the pupils and practice the song “My Oh My” ahead of recording in Staffordshire University’s state-of-the art Cadman Studios later in the year.

Laura Allsopp, Leader of the Sixth Form, said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity for our students. This group are so dedicated and what started as a small choir has grown and grown.

“It is really lovely to see a significant number of our Sixth Form students giving up their free time in order to benefit those in our local community. I am so incredibly proud to be a part of such a wonderful project.”

Donna Adams, Head of Fundraising & Lottery at Douglas MacMillan Hospice, said: “We’re delighted that students at Cheadle Sixth Form have delivered far beyond their initial pledge and through their fantastic fundraising efforts, raised £14,500 for the hospice. This really is a fantastic sum of money that will make a great contribution to help fund the care services that we’re able to provide at Dougie Mac.

Chief Executive David Webster added: “All of us at Dougie Mac have been overwhelmed by the tenacity and commitment shown by the pupils at Cheadle Academy Sixth Form College, in raising funds for our hospice.

“Their latest initiative demonstrates just how creative and imaginative they are too!  We are proud to be part of a community with such generous and compassionate young people.” 

Watch performances by the choir and follow their progress on Cheadle Academy’s Facebook page here.

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