Pounds and poppadoms help Little Lives Appeal

katie and rachel thompson selling their hats
katie and rachel thompson selling their hats

BUDDING young entrepreneurs from a Stony Stratford school are using pound power to raise funds for our Little Lives Appeal.

Every one of the 220 pupils at St Mary and St Giles School was presented with a £1 coin by the city’s John Lewis store.

The Grange Restaurant, Singleton Drive / Dunthorne Way, Grange Farm, Milton Keynes.

The Grange Restaurant, Singleton Drive / Dunthorne Way, Grange Farm, Milton Keynes.

Their instructions were to invest the coins in their own business ideas, and donate the proceeds to the life-saving neonatal unit appeal.

“It’s been amazing,” said head teacher Kieran Salter. “We’ve had some great ideas for raising money and the children have shown so much enthusiasm.”

A group of girls pooled their money to buy fabric and set to making Father Christmas hats, trimming them with white fur.

They sold these hats to their friends and even hired their own stall at the weekend’s Stony Stratford lights switch-on.

So far their hat business has raised £230.

Meanwhile another girl used her £1 to buy a couple of books of raffle tickets.

She then trudged up and down the High Street persuading businesses to donate prizes. The resulting raffle, held in school, raised £30.

One budding Alan Sugar wannabe turned his attention to bargain hunting, scouring car boot sales to buy the maximum amount possible with his pound.

He is now re-selling his booty – for a profit.

“We’ve had numerous pupils using their money to buy cooking ingredients and they’re selling cakes and biscuits in school every Tuesday and Thursday,” said Mr Salter.

“Others are turning to crafts. We have a group of younger girls making keyrings, which are selling well.”

Many parents have become involved in the children’s business ideas. for some it was particularly poignant – as their babies were treated by the Little lives Appeal unit. Isobel Thompson’s daughters Katie and Rachel were born ten weeks early and spent seven weeks in neonatal care.

“The staff there really helped us and now we have a chance to help them,” she said.

“The girls have made headbands and hats, which they are selling wherever they can. I’m really proud!”

Now the hospital’s fundraising manger Vanessa Holmes is hoping other schools will join the £1 challenge.

The school that raises the most cash will win the Citizen’s Little Lives schools’ trophy at the end of the appeal.

A total of £250,000 was needed to extend and improve the hospital’s neonatal unit. Less than £50,000 is now needed for the target to be reached. Providing another boost, this time by tickling people’s tastebuds, is The Grange Indian restaurant at Grange Farm.

When new management took over the Dunthorne Way premises they immediately pledged support for the appeal.

Now they are running monthly Little Lives gourmet nights, where diners can tuck into an expertly cooked five course banquet for just £14.95 a head.

A quarter of all proceeds on the night, including those from take away orders, will be donated to the appeal.

The first Little Lives night is on Monday, December 12. Customers can turn up at the door or call The Grange on MK 340607 or MK 340660 to book a table.

Meanwhile anybody who wants to help the appeal or anybody with a fund-raising idea, no matter how small, can call Vanessa Holmes on MK 826690 or email fundraising@mkhospital.nhs.uk.