It is always a pleasure to see our students working hard and achieving great things in school. We are often unaware of the efforts and achievements of students who give their time to events, charities and the community out of school time. We were therefore delighted to receive a letter from Mr Will Robey, parent of Isabella Robey in year 7. Isabella, along with her friends Isabelle Wilton and Leah Astin have given a tremendous amount of their time to raising money for charity. Everyone at school is incredibly proud of the girls, their selfless attitude and all their efforts.
With Mr Robey's permission, we have shared his letter with you below, which gives details of the work Isabella, Isabelle and Leah have undertaken this year.
Very well done girls, we know you have plans for future fundraising and look forward to hearing all about it.
Letter from Mr Robey
Dear Mr Hinchliffe
I am writing in reference to a number of your year 7 students (Isabella Robey, Isabelle Wilton and Leah Astin) who throughout 2017 have in my opinion demonstrated commitment, generosity, care and talent far above their years, whilst supporting a number of cancer focused charities, including York Against Cancer and Macmillan cancer support.
In August 2016 My Mother was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer and we were informed that this was unfortunately terminal with no available treatment options. As a result and following some tough times I decided that I would like to organise a music concert to raise money for both York against Cancer and Macmillan Cancer Support, two organisations that offered support to my Mum. The Event ‘UNITED IN MUSIC’ was held on Saturday 4th March 2017 and featured several local bands and artistes performing alongside a charity raffle and auction.
February & March 2017:
Whilst preparing for the event I organised a number of smaller fundraising events in order to advertise the concert, seek local support and sell tickets whilst also raising additional funds for our two chosen charities. One such event was a charity bag packing event at our Local Selby Morrisons store. This took place on Saturday 11th February 2017 and required myself accompanied by my wife and a number of my team to attend the store and offer bag packing support to those whom required it, whilst taking any opportunity to explain why we were there. Selby High School Year 7 students including my Daughter Isabella and her best friends Isabelle Wilton and Leah Astin all volunteered their time to attend and to support this event and to help raise money for our cause. Their efforts were absolutely amazing throughout the day, seeing them conduct themselves in a polite and friendly manner, talking to people and explaining fully what the event was about and how tickets could be purchased. Their commitment to this helped us to raise £367.00 on the day which has since been added to our grand total raised on the evening of the event which was £5,557.50
The event itself went extremely well and it was lovely to see a number of these children present on the night with their parents, enjoying the show and showing continued support. I would like to include a special mention to my Daughter Isabella who accompanied me for the full day and played roles as part of the backstage crew, providing water and refreshments for the bands, helping with set up and then performing on stage as part of the events entertainment.
Wishing to keep the momentum of ‘UNITED IN MUSIC’ going, in July of 2017 I organised and put together a crew of musicians, friends and family to walk the Yorkshire 3 peaks challenge the aim of which again was to complete the challenge whilst busking at the top of each peak raising money for our chosen charities. Although not directly involved on the day it is again a credit to Isabella that in my training for the event she accompanied me in walking each of the three peaks as a separate entity and on the day shared our live streams via social media outlets so that more people could choose to donate. In completing this challenge we raised a further £552.75 which was again donated to York against Cancer.
Following the success of these first two event myself and Isabella appeared on Vale Radio, York on which Isabella sang two songs live on air. This was followed by a very kind request for Isabella to take part at the York Festival of Remembrance at York Barbican, remembering those who fought and continue to fight and lose their lives in the name of freedom. Upon being asked Isabella was offered payment to perform, however selflessly indicated that she did not require payment and would like for any fee to be donated to the Poppy appeal. Isabella’s performance was to a massive crowd and was very well received seeing her appearing in the York Press and receiving praise for her confident performance. Isabella demonstrated a massive amount of courage at this time having lost her Nana “my Mother” only three weeks earlier to the disease diagnosed only 12 month earlier. Isabella was very upset throughout the day but, held herself together with the aim of making her Nana proud, something I know she definitely did.
At the end of November both Isabella and Isabelle Wilton were asked to perform at Thorpe Willoughby Village Councils Christmas Tree light event. The Girls once agreed and were offered payment for this but again (to the delight and surprise of those organising the event) declined payment instead asking for any fee to be donated to York against Cancer and any other chosen charity of the village council. Their performance on the 1st December was well received and has resulted in them already being asked to return again next year for the same event.
As my final project for 2017 I decided to organise one more ‘UNITED IN MUSIC’ event however this time with a difference, in that we would not be raising money for charity but instead would perform with the sole aim of bringing Christmas Joy and Happiness to those who need it most and are afflicted by illness. UNITED IN MUSIC CHRISTMAS CHOIR was born and commenced rehearsals on 12th November 2017. I am proud to inform you that when I rang around looking for volunteers Isabella, Isabelle Wilton and Leah Astin were again keen to donate their time and effort and as such all sang in the choir, something they should be very proud of. Since then they have consistently attended rehearsal evening once a week sometimes twice, rehearsing for a 40 minute performance that we would take to three Hospices and one old peoples home. These events took place Monday, Tuesday and Thursday of this very week and have been met with wonderful feedback from the patients, staff and families present.
In total this year between each event we have raised in excess of £6000.00 for charity and more importantly brought a degree of happiness, comfort and joy to those in need. I am aware, having spoken to Julie from York Against cancer that the money donated to their cause has been used to purchase a mobile chemotherapy unit that will allow for treatment to be taken to those not mobile enough to make their way to York Hospital and that these areas will include patients in York, Selby and other surrounding areas.
The students I have mentioned Isabella Robey, Isabelle Wilton and Leah Astin should be very proud of themselves and the part that they have played in these achievements. I would appreciate it very much if you would pass on my express thanks in recognition for their efforts. I’m sure you will agree their actions have been selfless, charitable and mark an outstanding achievement, something which as individuals they should take credit for and as a school I feel you should be very proud of.
(Proud Parent, United in Music Event Organiser & Stage Manager)