A Co Down primary school is chalking up support for the Belfast Telegraph’s Christmas Appeal in recognition of the cancer battle faced by one of its past pupils.
Pupils and staff at Millisle Primary are hosting a fundraising event next month to boost funds for CLIC Sargent’s Homes From Home Appeal which is being supported by this newspaper.
Honour Johnston (13) was diagnosed with a rare form of childhood ovarian cancer just months after she left the school last year.
The teenager is a proud survivor and now her alma mater is helping to raise £50,000 towards laying the foundations for two new respite centres where families can stay while their children are undergoing treatment near the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children and Belfast City Hospital.
Pupils are hosting a Christmas carol service on December 14 to raise cash for the appeal.
Millisle principal Linda Patterson said: “Honour had just left the school when she was diagnosed, but her brothers Abraham (11) and Elliot (4) were in P6 and nursery during her illness.
“Of course it affected the whole family, and we work very closely with any families in our school who are going through a difficult time. They are a fantastic family.
“I would urge other schools to take the initiative and help raise money for this worthy cause.”
The Belfast Telegraph highlighted Honour’s story as we recently launched our Christmas Appeal support for CLIC Sargent.
We are urging readers to contribute £50,000 towards the £3.7m needed by the children’s cancer charity to build two homes for families to stay in during treatment.
The school’s charity co-ordinator and P6 teacher, Tracy Patterson, said: “We've seen first-hand what a family goes through and how tough it can be on them.
“We are delighted to support CLIC Sargent. We saw Honour's story in the Belfast Telegraph recently and it was great to see her talk so confidently and so well.
“At last year's carol service we raised around £500 so we're hoping to do the same this year.”
Michael Moore, who taught Honour, said: “We were all very taken aback when we heard Honour was ill. We're a small village and the school is at the heart of our community, so it was inevitable we would do something to help.”