Schools are out, summer is in – and it’s proving to be a time for some of our young students to shine in sporting events and special deeds!
The holidays are generally seen as a time for young people to relax and unwind ahead of the start of a new year at school.
Far from making the most of long lie ins and duvet days, some of our pupils have been out and about enjoying local and national successes in sporting events, raising money for charity and making their families proud.
Here at the Council, we are also proud of our pupils – particularly the resilience shown after a challenging period throughout the pandemic - and would like to share a few of their stories with you over the holiday period.
Papdale Primary School’s Sarah Seatter has challenged herself to walk 100 miles this summer to raise money for a children’s cancer charity.
Ten-year-old Sarah has also been growing her hair which she plans to have chopped next month and donate to the Little Princess Trust for a wig to be made for a child affected by cancer.
The Kirkwall youngster, who goes into P7 after the summer, has been exploring Orkney since the holidays began alongside her mum, Heather-Louise, and, on occasions her siblings Emma, 8, and James, 3 – and she has, so far, notched up 66 miles, a total which is rising daily.
Sarah had hoped to raise £550 – the cost of making a wig – but she has already surpassed this and, to date, has received donations of £884.
The idea came about as Sarah was getting tired of how long it took her blonde locks to dry after being in the swimming pool playing underwater hockey, known as octopush.
Heather-Louise said: “It all started one night after she had finished octopush and was saying that her hair was taking too long to dry, and she said about cutting it a bit shorter. I said to her we could donate it to the Little Princess Trust. She then asked me what it was about, so I explained that they make wigs for children who have lost their hair due to treatments for cancer.
“We then had a look on the website and Sarah said ‘yes let’s do that and we could raise money to help them buy wigs too’. I ordered her a starter fundraising pack and it took four days to arrive. It has lots of ideas for fundraising in it along with posters, balloons, wrist bands, a badge, window sticker and a money box.
“We decided to do a walk over the summer and Sarah thought that 100 miles would be good to try. I agreed and felt it would also get us all out walking during the holidays and get lots of fresh air. We have been on lots of different walks all over the Mainland and have been joined, at times, but other family members as well.”
Thankfully the weather has been very good in Orkney terms with lots of dry days!
Sarah thanked everyone for all the donations received so far.
“I’m really pleased that we have raised a lot more than the first target – it would be really brilliant if we could get a bit more so that two wigs could be made. Thank you to everyone who has generously made a donation – it’s much appreciated.
“It’s been good fun getting out and about and exploring some parts of Orkney that we haven’t been before.”
The Little Princess Trust reached a major milestone in 2020 – having provided 10,000 wigs to young people who have lost their own hair due to cancer treatment and other conditions such as alopecia.
The wigs help to restore the confidence and identity of the young recipients at what can be a very tough time in their lives.
A spokesperson for the Trust said: “When a child loses their hair to cancer or another condition, we'll be there with a free, real hair wig to help restore their confidence and identity. We won't stop until the research that we fund ends childhood cancer forever. Please visit us at www.littleprincesses.org.uk to find out how you can help us give young people back what cancer takes away. The Trust relies solely on the efforts of enthusiastic community fundraisers. We receive no formal funding. Please help to raise money for us so that we can help more families.”
Heather-Louise and husband, Chris, are incredibly proud of their three children.
“Sarah is now planning on how short she wants to cut her hair, with the possibility of having some blue dye in it too. Hairdresser Emma Fitzpatrick will be doing the deed on 13 August so we will update you then as to how it goes.”
Chair of the Council’s Education, Leisure and Housing Committee, Councillor Gwenda Shearer said: “The efforts some of our young people will go to, to help others never ceases to amaze me. They really are superstars. Well done to Sarah and the Seatter family for what is a very worthy cause. I hope the weather stays kind for the remaining miles and look forward to seeing the new hair style when the time comes.”