This wonderful idea was brought to St Ives by pupils Imogen and Anya O’Donnell whose grandfather was recently diagnosed with this degenerating disease. The sponsored silence was used as a fundraiser and to raise awareness of Motor Neurone Disease (MND) by standing in solidarity with the thousands of people living with it who have difficulty speaking.
Imogen had led an assembly in front of the whole school a few weeks previously where she talked about MND and presented the idea of the sponsored silence. In typical St Ives style, the pupils loved the idea of helping others and threw themselves into the challenge of fundraising with great gusto.
Pupils arrived at school on Friday full of excitement about this huge undertaking. The sponsored silence started straight after assembly and lasted until lunch time. All lessons had been planned especially to be carried out in silence and it was fascinating to see the children communicate by simply using hand gestures and smiles.
Pupils were undoubtedly relieved when their silence challenge was lifted at lunchtime, but everyone had learnt not to take their ability to speak for granted. In total, the school raised a phenomenal £3,007 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
Imogen O’Donnell said “I am so happy that we have raised so much money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association. The more money they receive, the sooner they can find a cure for this terrible disease.”
Mrs Kay Goldsworthy, Head Teacher at St Ives, said “Everyone did so well to stay silent for so long and each pupil took time to think about those who suffer from Motor Neurone Disease. We are delighted to have raised so much money for this very worthwhile charity”.