St Francis pupils launch pirate ship project in memory of classmate
4:00pm Monday 15th October 2012 in News
Pirates and princesses helped launch a project to bring a sailing ship to the playground of Falmouth’s St Francis Primary School.
The ‘Pirate Ship for a Princess’ project is being carried out in memory of late pupil Chloe Edwards, who died aged just eight years old in January this year from Neuroblastoma, cancer of the nervous system.
The fundraising project began with the release of balloons in Chloe’s favourite colour of blue. These had last been sent off into the air with messages for Chloe, as a way of finishing off bereavement support sessions carried out at the school following her death.
Explaining the thinking behind the project, Nicky Sutton, St Francis’s music, art, dance and drama teacher who is a driving force behind it, said: “It’s important for us as a school community and also for the children to have something positive to focus on and a lasting memorial.”
Chloe’s mum Nicola described it as “a lovely idea” and said: “It’s so important to the children – it’s really wonderful to see.”
She believed Chloe was looking down and saying, “That’s brilliant.” Nicola said: “She would just want to go on it and play and probably be bossing everyone round as well. She’d be very excited about it.”
Among those running the project are members of the Operation Edwards group set up to fundraise for Chloe’s treatment before her death. Also involved are Chloe’s close friends Molly, Immy, Beau, Lauren and Daisy, all year five pupils who wrote letters asking to be involved.
The school is working towards July 20014 as the boat’s launch date, giving just over 18 months to fundraise and get it built. While the total amount needed for the project is not yet known, the school is estimating it will cost at least £20,000. Currently under investigation is the possibility of using a real-life decommissioned fishing boat.
Fundraising will get going in earnest with a fashion show early December and the plan is to hold an event every couple of months. It is hoped the fashion show, pencilled in for December 7, will feature clothes lent by shops and also ‘nearly-new’ outfits donated by parents, which will be modelled and then sold.
Tim Light, from Cornwall Ferries Ltd, has already donated £50 to the fund as well as a boat trip to auction or raffle off. The fundraising was given an initial boost by the Friends of St Francis School in the form of £4,000, raised through past Christmas and summer fairs. Nicky appealed to any companies who would like to sponsor the project either financially or by contributing materials or items towards it to come forward.
She also asked community groups looking for projects to support to consider the school.
To offer support call the school on 01326 211910.