THE TRAGIC loss of a fellow pupil’s mum has inspired the girls at Saint Martin’s School to raise an ‘overwhelming’ amount of money for the family bereavement charity Edward’s Trust.

Sixteen-year-old Lower Sixth student Emily lost her mum Karen to ovarian cancer in 2011 at the age of just 45 and was supported by the charity which helps families in their ‘darkest hour’.

Emily spoke about her loss during an assembly last year and the emotional presentation led to a unanimous vote of Edward’s Trust being the school’s chosen charity for the year.

Fast-forward 12 months and the pupils and staff at the independent school for girls in Brueton Avenue have raised an amazing £6,450 for the charity in tribute to and memory of Emily’s mum – as well as a further £1,128 for nine other great causes.

The programme of fundraising events included two staff v pupils rounders matches, a Bags2School clothing donation, a shoe shine ahead of prize giving, a movie and pizza night, a Christmas Fayre, a fashion show, Christmas Jumper Day, a Sparkle Day, bake sale, a charity concert, a talent show, non-uniform day and a book sale.

And the cheque for £6,450 was presented by Emily to Lucy Goodway from the charity during a special assembly at the school celebrating the ‘fantastic’ year of fundraising by all at Saint Martin’s.

Maths teach Mrs King, who co-ordinates fundraising activities at the school, heaped praise on all involved.

She said: “What a fantastic achievement by the entire school – pupils and staff – to have raised such a wonderful amount of money for this truly wonderful charity.

“Everyone should be so proud of their efforts – particularly as the money we raised for Edward’s Trust is in addition to all the other money raised and items collected for all the other great charities we have supported this year.

“These efforts make life-changing differences.”

Lucy Goodway, Head of Fundraising at Edward’s Trust said she had been overwhelmed by the huge amount of money raised.

She added: “We couldn’t believe just one school had raised so much money for us – we thought it was a typo on the e-mail at first!

“It was a big shock and a lovely surprise and the money will make a huge difference to Edward’s Trust.

“It costs around £1,000 to support each family who come to the charity, which means the money raised by Saint Martin’s will support at least six families in their darkest hour.

“Edward’s Trust – and the families we support – are eternally grateful.”

Edward’s Trust was set up in 1989 by Peter and Hilary Dent from Knowle in memory of their son Edward, who died from cancer at the age of just seven.

Twenty-eight years later, the Trust still continues to provide much-needed family bereavement support to around 600 families a year across the West Midlands through one-to-one counselling, support groups, specialist respite bereavement retreats, children’s social activities and a wellbeing service.

A further nine charities were supported by the school throughout the year through a series of events, activities and collections – raising £1,128.

These included a busking event to support the UK Solidarity Fund and victims of the Manchester terror attack, an odd socks day and pie-throwing event to support the eating disorder charity ‘beat’, supporting the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal and Marie Curie’s Daffodil Appeal, collections for Sparkhill Foodbank and St Basil’s homeless charity.

Furrther fundraisers included hosting a Macmillan Coffee Morning, taking part in the Jeans for Genes day to support children affected by life-altering genetic disorders, and donating to the Smalls for All campaign to provide underwear to women and children in Africa.

For more information about the school – and how to become a part of it – visit: www.saintmartins-school.com.

For more information about the work of Edward’s trust visit: www.edwardstrust.org.uk.