Jonathan Wilkes will be joining forces with students from The Cheadle Academy Sixth Form College to record a charity single in memory of their Senior Assistant Principal.
The Academy’s students lost their teacher, Craig Beverley, in October 2016 after being diagnosed with cancer. The funds will be going to the Douglas MacMillan, where Mr. Beverley received care.
The North Staffordshire charity is mainly run on fundraising efforts and donations from the public. The Hospice provides care and comfort for patients who have been diagnosed with any life limiting illness as well as supporting their families.
The Sixth Form officially opened in September 2017 and fundraising for the locally nicknamed ‘Dougie Mac’ has become a passion for the college and its choir.
A big social media appeal was made to Jonathan Wilkes by the students. The Stoke-born singer who responded to the appeal will be joining the choir to record a song which Mr. Beverley performed with his band and would sing to his pupils.
Jonathan said: “I’m amazed at what this brilliant group of youngsters has achieved so far, and I can’t wait to help them raise loads more money for the fantastic Dougie Mac. I’m as excited as they are!”
Jonathan will be visiting Cheadle Academy to meet the pupils and practice the song “My, Oh My” before it is recorded in Staffordshire University’s state-of-the-art Cadman Studios later this year.
Alfie Walford, a student from the College said: “As a group we really cannot believe how big it has become. What started out as some carol singing in memory of our teacher has turned into something huge!
“We know that Mr. Beverley would have loved the chance to get involved with a project like this, which makes it more special. Let’s hope we can raise even more vital funds for the Dougie Mac!”
The newest fundraising adventure for Cheadle Academy will be taking their musical talent to the next level.
Staffordshire University’s chosen charity for 2019 is also the Douglas MacMillan. The University has chosen to support the College by providing the knowledge needed for them to create their single.
Associate Dean in the School of Computing and Digital Technologies at Staffordshire University, Matt Sadler, has been coordinating with the college as they get ready to record.
Mr. Sadler said: “We thought about what we could do to help support the choir and decided to draw on our technical expertise within the music and sound profession.
“They are the choir, they are the singers and we want to help raise their profile and support them in raising even more money. We will be looking at a digital download, as any production would be taking money away from the Dougie Mac.”
The choir has also been invited to attend open days and the Vice Chancellor’s Dinner in July to perform and raise even more funds for the Douglas MacMillan.
Staffordshire University students will be creating a music video for the single which will include clips of the choir recording their single.
The choir has already visited the University to get a feel for how the recording will proeed.
The efforts of the Cheadle Academy to raise as many funds as possible for the charity have not gone unnoticed and their money has been greatly received by the Hospice.
Donna Adams, Head of Fundraising & Lottery at Douglas MacMillan Hospice said: “We’re delighted that students at Cheadle Sixth Form have delivered far beyond their initial pledge and through their fantastic fundraising efforts, raised £14,500 for the hospice.”
Even staff and teachers at the college are impressed with the commitment of the students to a charity that means so much to the school and the wider North Staffordshire community.
Laura Allsopp, Leader of the Sixth Form, said: “It is really lovely to see a significant number of our Sixth Form students giving up their free time in order to benefit those in our local community. I am so incredibly proud to be a part of such a wonderful project.”
You can watch previous performances of the choir and monitor their fundraising progress through their Facebook page.