Eaton Square School’s A+ fundraising

04.09.18 Categories: Patient stories, Supporter stories, How donations help,

Eaton Square School has raised over £200,000 for Evelina London during its charity partnership with the hospital, which began in recognition of the care one of its staff member’s baby boy received.

Ellen Millar was a teacher at the school when her son, William, was born. She and her husband Patrick spent over six months at the hospital with William throughout his short but very special life.

William’s story

William was born in July 2015 with multiple health issues, including having just one low-functioning kidney, very small lungs and various heart problems.

Ellen and Patrick spent their months living at Evelina London until William sadly passed away on Valentine’s Day 2016, falling asleep peacefully in his parents’ arms.

‘The hospital staff worked tirelessly to help make William better and to make sure he was as comfortable as possible,’ says Ellen. ‘They were also amazingly supportive of us as a family and always had time for us, whether to explain what was happening, or simply to make us a cup of tea.’

William at Evelina London with his parents Ellen and Patrick Millar and patient Katie Braybrook with Dr Grenville Fox, Clinical Director of Evelina London.

Super supporting school

The London school began their dedicated fundraising mission in support of the family and went on to hold a host of fantastically fun and imaginative activities over two years.

Staff and pupils threw themselves into the task with enormous enthusiasm, holding collections and activities and arranging events, from toy and cake sales through to a rock concert, a quiz night and a gala for parents to attend.

The gala had a black tie masked ball theme, and Clinical Director of Evelina London, Dr Grenville Fox attended with special guest 15 year-old Katie Braybrook, a patient at the hospital.

Katie suffers from a severe skin condition and two spine conditions, causing her great pain and meaning she’s had major surgery. She bravely spoke at the gala in front of over 350 guests.

‘It was an amazing night which I am grateful to have been a part of,’ she says. ‘I really enjoyed sharing not only my medical and fundraising story, but also telling the hundreds of people who attended about the amazing work that the staff at Evelina London carry out. It was a fantastic experience!’

The gala raised an incredible £100,000 for the hospital. Alongside other parents’ events, pupils held their own activities that they thought of themselves such as selling their own handmade bracelets and designing and selling pencil cases.

The many benefits of fundraising

After the official cheque presentation (pictured above), a final fantastic fundraising push in the last few weeks of term catapulted the amount raised to well over £200,000. This was thanks to two students who did a sponsored hair cut which brought in £7,000.

The collective effort raised an amazing £204,719 in total – something that every person involved should be very proud of.

Deputy Head of the school, Emily Peck, says, ‘All of the pupils, staff and parents have benefited greatly from their association with Evelina London. It has been a real privilege.’

Ellen, who has also done lots of amazing fundraising of her own, says how much their efforts mean to her:

‘I am so thrilled to hear how much Eaton Square School has raised. I had been teaching at Eaton Square for seven years when William was born with his health issues. The school staff and families were so supportive, and I am so grateful that they chose to support Evelina London as their school charity for the last two years.

‘It sounds like a cliché, but raising money to help other children and families who are cared for at Evelina London really has helped my husband and I cope with our loss.’

Fundraising at school is a fun, engaging way to support Evelina London for pupils, staff and parents. Find out more and get your or your child’s school involved now!

(Lead image) Becky Kemp from Evelina London fundraising team with Eaton Square School’s Head Girl and Head Boy, Mackenzie Wagner and Gabriel Descorps.

(Insert image) William at Evelina London with his parents Ellen and Patrick Millar