A group of Year 11 students from Richmond School and Sixth Form College, have raised £640 for Macmillan Cancer Support through a 24-hour Minecraft Marathon.  The initial idea came from Tom Millar who contacted his friends after seeing an advert about becoming a Game Hero for Macmillan.  The friends discussed which game to play decided that Minecraft would appeal to everyone.

Eight students completed the full 24-hour marathonTom Millar, Dylan Webb, Ben Mason, Theo Irwin, Ethan Raine, Edmund Richardson, Adam Dixon and Jack Galpin, with Henry Shepherd and Henry Bushell taking part for most of it.

Their target was £500 however they were delighted to exceed this and raise a fabulous £640.55. The students chose Macmillan as their work is invaluable to give expert help to those who need it, but in these challenging times it is becoming harder to deliver this vital support, with the charity losing income due to the coronavirus pandemic. The students are thankful to everyone who donated to their fundraiser.

Tom said “We had been reading how much charities had been affected by the virus and decided it would be a nice thing to do to help — we also didn’t have much on at the moment! “Minecraft was a game we’d all played for years. It was challenging to keep playing for 24 hours and it was hard, especially the last couple of hours.  We are teenagers though and have experience of unusual sleep patterns.”

Before the Marathon, Tom said he would shave his hair off if they hit their £500 target.  He still aims to do this but is planning to wait until after the social distancing restrictions have been lifted as some of his friends have also expressed interest in joining him.

The game was called Heroes and Jack Gilpin said: “The true heroes are the health workers who are doing so much to improve the lives of others during this very difficult situation.  Even in these times of uncertainty they are working even harder, risking their own health to assure ours.  They are the real heroes, but we thought that we could show our appreciation by doing this fundraiser.”

Jenna Potter, Headteacher, concluded: “I am extremely proud of Tom and his friends for taking the initiative and raising so much for Macmillan Cancer Support at this very difficult time.  It is wonderful that they are thinking of others and are so aware of the challenges faced by charities.”

The fundraisers called themselves the Richmond Clowns and although they have completed their marathon you can still sponsor the students via their Just Givng page at  https://gameheroes.macmillan.org.uk/fundraising/Richmond-clowns