Sixth form students from Staffordshire school, The Cheadle Academy, have chosen to honour the memory of their beloved teacher, Craig Beverley, by releasing a charity single titled ‘My Oh My’ on November 15.
Mr Beverley lost his brave battle against cancer in October 2016 after being cared for by the Douglas Macmillan Hospice and all money raised by the pupil’s work will be donated to this cause.
Choir member James Burton has helped continue the work of the previous year 13’s at The Cheadle Academy. He said: “They thought a really good way [to raise money]would be carol singing.
“I think the first target was like £12,000, once we hit that it sort of just snowballed from there.”
Fellow pupil and choir member Lauren Jones added: “When we’re in the supermarkets as well, it’s just seeing people’s faces who are affected by it and people who really do have a passion for charity. It’s just amazing.”
The choir have continued to raise up to £22,000 and are not halting their targets there. They hope to see their rendition of ‘My Oh My’, originally written by Mr Beverley’s former band, hit the UK charts.
With support from Staffordshire University’s music and film departments, the choir professionally recorded the single and a video to go alongside it.
The University’s Associate Dean of Recruitment Matt Brindley-Sadler recruited students from music, film and journalism courses to aid The Cheadle Academy in reaching their goal.
He said: “So, this kind of snowballed, it’s fantastic, sometimes ideas don’t need lots of planning, they just need to be able to explode and to be able to happen organically with a lot of commitment from a lot of people.”
Principal at The Cheadle Academy, Neil Jamieson, knew Craig Beverley personally and is amazed at the extent the pupils have gone to, to raise money in memory of the teacher.
He said: “He was really the only person left from the senior leadership team when I arrived and he became my right-hand man. He got me to know what Cheadle was about, it’s sense of community, it’s spirit. We are a family.
“Knowing the sense of pride in this academy and the respect they had for Craig and everything that went on, hopefully this single is something which is testament to their efforts and endeavour to put things in a better place for some people.”
Laura Allsopp, Head of Sixth Form, has worked alongside the pupils to get the fundraiser off the ground and has seen a group of children with no real singing or performing experience pull together a project working towards a great cause.
She said: “I think this is a hallmark of the academy now. The choir will continue post-single so the goal is to raise as much money as we can for an incredible and local cause and to keep setting targets higher and higher. It creates a massive sense of community in our sixth form and our school.”
The Cheadle Academy’s cover of ‘My Oh My’ is now available. To download and donate, click on the QR link below to download the single from Itunes today.