A COLLEGE rallied round to raise thousands of pounds and awareness of a disease which affected one of its lecturers as a child.
East Durham College, in Peterlee, raised more than £2,000 for the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT) during the organisation’s 25th anniversary year.
College lecturer Alison Scattergood, 39, from Peterlee, organised a fun-packed week of charity events as she was diagnosed with the rare eye cancer retinoblastoma, a rapidly developing cancer that affects the cells of the retina, at just six weeks old.
She was successfully treated for the condition at Sunderland Eye Infirmary.
The barbering lecturer, who has worked at the college for seven years, said: “I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone who was involved in the EDC ‘CHECT’ week.
“All the students and staff involved have been truly amazing.
“We have raised over two grand, how fab is that?”
The week consisted of 25-themed fundraising activities.
Students and staff got involved in a range of different events, including providing free hair and beauty treatments for donations, raffles, sold sweets and home-made cakes, held a 10-mile sponsored walk and washed cars.
A boxing event was held where college boxing coach David Binns went three rounds with Foundation Studies student Davie Moore.
Pro-boxer and ex-East Durham College student Jonson McClumpha also got involved.
Alison’s husband David works for Hartlepool United as a child welfare officer/youth team scout and managed to organise a signed shirt for Pools-mad Davie Moore as his reward for winning the “big fight”.
Level 3 barbering student Ken Ball, 44, from Consett, who is also a District Commander with Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue, took part in a sponsored fireman’s lift, where he lifted 25 students and staff up the stairs, and raised over £400.
Hairdressing student Mel Swainston, 33, from Stockton, raised over £300 by getting all of her hair shaved off and the CHECT logo shaved into the side of her head by professional barber Martin Fox.
CHECT chief executive Joy Felgate travelled from London to join in the activities and even agreed to be carried up three flights of stairs for the sponsored fireman’s carry.
She said: “It was an amazing occasion, led by the energy and enthusiasm of Alison who motivated and inspired students and staff from the whole college to get involved.
“The funds raised over the week will help to ensure that when a parent’s worst nightmare is realised and they are told the devastating news that their child has eye cancer, they do not have to face this on their own.”
To find out more about the signs of eye cancer, or make a donation to CHECT, visit www.chect.org.uk