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A group of boys from King’s College, Taunton have recently planned and managed a charity fundraiser for Together for Short Lives, a children’s charity who in 2018 benefitted from the proceeds of the winning single from ITV’s The X Factor.

The organisation is the UK’s leading charity for the 49,000 children living with life-limiting conditions. Their vision is for children and young people in the UK with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions and their families to have as fulfilling lives as possible, and the best care at the end of life.

During Children’s Hospice Week – the only week in the year dedicated to raising awareness and funds for children’s hospices and palliative care services across the UK – the boys ran a swimming event as part of their King’s Young Leaders’ Award.

Cameron Duncan, Ryan Lui and Louis Stanbury developed the idea around challenging their fellow pupils swim a total of 49K (1,960 lengths of the school pool) in two hours, asking for lengths to be sponsored with whatever people could spare. The event was well supported by the whole school community, and by the end, their target had been smashed: a total of 106K (4240 lengths) had been collectively swum.

Commenting, art teacher and mentor on the programme, Cate Field, said “The Young Leaders programme has given the participants the opportunity to really develop their skills, not only in leadership, but in organisation, the ability to prioritise, and to communicate with all sorts of people. Setting tasks for themselves and others, they experienced the emotions of things going wrong and thus developed the ability to work through ‘failure’, demonstrating creative problem-solving.”

The boys raised in excess of £500 and met with Nathan Fuller (Fundraising Events Manager) and Lyndon Ashmore (Campaigns Officer) from Together for Short Lives, who visited the school to talk about the work of charity.