Student Project Raises £15,000 for Parkinson’s UK

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Student Project Raises £15,000 for Parkinson’s UK

A masquerade ball organised by a sixth form student from Yarm School has raised £15,000 for Parkinson’s UK as part of the pupil’s Extended Project Qualification (EPQ).

Katherine Henley, 17, organised the charity event, which took place at Judges Country House Hotel in Yarm, where guests were invited to dance the night away, wearing glamourous masks.

The EPQ is a qualification offered alongside A Levels at Yarm which is highly regarded by universities. It provides students the opportunity to develop their independence and demonstrate ambition and motivation, producing a significant piece of work or a project beyond their A level subjects.

After losing her Papa (Grandad) to Parkinson’s in 2021, Katherine decided to raise money for the charity, which supports over 145,000 individuals living with the condition.

Katherine not only organised the event but she also coordinated a range of fundraising opportunities via ticket sales as well as a raffle and an auction. Prizes were donated by Aled Jones, Mr Jackson, Rory Best, Dr Jon Henley, Lucy Pittaway, Tony Mowbray, Cloud Cuckoo, Cinnamon Bay, Hobo Coffee House, Luna Blu, Saks, Origins Homewear, Sorelle, Seymour’s Home, Judges Country House Hotel, Lovesome Hill Farm, Hopper House Brew Farm, Porsche Teesside, and Georgie Henley as well as a highly coveted personal tour of the House of Lords plus an afternoon tea donated by Baroness Kate Hoey.

Katherine Henley said: “I’d like to thank everyone who came along to support the ball and to raise money for a charity which is close to my heart. Also, thank you to the organisations and individuals who donated prizes which helped enormously with this fantastic sum for Parkinson’s UK.”

Dr Huw Williams, Headmaster at Yarm School said: “We are all very proud of Katherine and the amazing work she has done on behalf of Parkinson’s UK.

“The EPQ provided Katherine with the platform to demonstrate her organisation and leadership skills in planning and delivering this exciting event, enabling her to support a cause she feels very passionate about. Katherine’s proactive approach and business acumen are evident in the success of the evening and the impressive sum she raised.

We offer the EPQ alongside traditional A Levels as it helps students develop skills and habits that help prepare them for life beyond Yarm, fitting with our mission of ‘Educating for Life’. Our students produce a fascinating and impressive range of EPQ projects focusing on academic and personal interests, some other examples from this year include a stage adaptation of a novel, research into criminal profiling and forensics, a charity music concert and an investigation into the possibility of time travel.”

Jacquie McGuire, Regional Fundraiser, Parkinson’s UK said: “We are so grateful to Katherine for taking on this incredible challenge for Parkinson’s UK.

“With more than 40 potential symptoms, Parkinson’s can devastate lives. We’ve made huge breakthroughs in the last 50 years, but there is still no cure and current treatments are not good enough.

“We hope that this fundraising inspires you to get involved with Parkinson’s UK. There are lots of ways for you to get involved and support us – from volunteering at an event, to campaigning for better services. Without the generosity of people like you, our work would not be possible.”

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