Support For Teenage Cancer Trust

Around seven young people aged between 13 and 24 are diagnosed with cancer every day in the UK. They need expert treatment and support from the moment they hear the word ‘cancer.’ We’re the only charity dedicated to making this happen

Stephen Sutton was an exceptional young man who made a huge impact as a Teenage Cancer Trust ambassador and fundraiser.

Despite an incurable diagnosis, Stephen remained positive and determined to make a difference up until his death in May 2014. To date Stephen’s Story has raised over £5.5 million for young people facing cancer.

Stephen was first diagnosed with colorectal cancer at the age of 15. He was supported throughout his cancer experience by Teenage Cancer Trust and received his treatment in our three units in Birmingham

Stephen also attended many peer to peer support events, including our flagship weekend conference Find Your Sense of Tumour, an event that brings together 300 young people with cancer to learn, make friends, share experiences, build confidence and have fun. He said that attending the event in 2011 played a very important role in how he viewed his cancer.

In 2013 he decided to make a bucket-list of things he wanted to achieve via his Facebook page, with a goal of raising £10,000 for Teenage Cancer Trust at number one on his list. He later increased this to £500,000 and then updated it to £1 million.

Stephen’s Story went viral when he posted what he thought was his last “thumbs up” photo from his hospital bed, on 22 April 2014. Already an ambassador and major fundraiser for Teenage Cancer Trust, Stephen captured the public’s imagination in an overwhelming way in the following weeks.

Comedian and long-term Teenage Cancer Trust supporter, Jason Manford, who had met Stephen at the charity’s Royal Albert Hall concert series in March, created the Thumbs Up for Stephen campaign on social media and vowed to take the fundraising to £1 million. Stephen was featured in an amazing array of news outlets both local and global, and supported by a host of celebrities including Stephen Fry, Russell Brand, Piers Morgan, Clare Balding, Gary Lineker, Steve Coogan, Carol Vorderman, Caitlin Moran and even the Prime Minister, David Cameron MP.

Over 182,000 donations have been made online to Stephen’s JustGiving page and over 150,000 by text and these keep rising. He continues to inspire a huge number of legacy fundraising events.

Over the last few months here at Ounsdale, we have been committed to raising money for the Teenage Cancer Trust

So far we have raised £1050.00 for the charity and we are determined to raise that figure in the new year



Lindale Gate Feedback

Thank you to everyone who responded to our request for feedback on the decision to close Lindale Gate. We had 289 responses in favour of both re-opening the gate and keeping the gate closed.

[button url=”” target=”_self” size=”small” style=”skyblue” ]View the report here[/button]

The overwhelming response was from those who wanted the gate re-opened to improve student safety on the journey to and from school.

Those opposing the re-opening of the gate were smaller in number but clearly expressed their concerns about the anti-social behaviour of a small but significant number of students and the impact this was having on them. Those opposing the re-opening also expressed concern about congestion and car parking in the Lindale Drive area.

After considering all of the responses we have decided to re-open the Lindale Gate at the end of the school day and for a limited time in the morning (8.25am – 8.40am) to maintain the improvement we have seen in student punctuality and support supervision.

We are also taking a number of other actions to address the issues raised through the consultation

  • Students have been made aware feedback from the consultation and have been advised that any anti-social behaviour will be dealt with. Sanctions against students involved in such behaviour will include being banned from using this gate and parents being informed.
  • Parents have been made aware of the feedback including concerns raised about anti-social behaviour, car parking and congestion issues. We ask that parents dropping or collecting their child from this exit do not park on Lindale Drive.
  •  We will work with the local community, St Bernadette’s primary school and local residents to identify any on-going issues and deal with any incidents that occur
  •  We are setting up a student liaison group consisting of Year 10 students who will work in the local primary school to address the issues raised by primary students and build bridges between them and Ounsdale students.
  •  We will lobby our local MP and the Local Authority who own the land between the school gates and Lindale Drive to secure funding for a proper path to this exit

 And finally…

We appreciate that this decision will not please those who opposed the opening of the gate but hope that the consultation report explains why it has been taken. We take any concerns about the attitude and behaviour of our students very seriously and are committed to working with our local community to address any issues that arise by improving communication and encouraging them to report concerns so that the small number of students who are involved in anti-social behaviour can be dealt with by the school and their parents.

During periods of very poor weather we will have to close the Lindale Gate but will advise parents of this through the usual methods – text and website.

As always, we welcome any further comments, feedback on this matter.

Christine Brown