A SCHOOL has kept the memory of a former pupil alive by carrying on a much-loved Portsmouth charity event.
Priory School in Southsea held Blue Day in aid of the Tom Prince Osteosarcoma Research Project in memory of Tom, a former pupil who died on the eve of his 16th birthday from the bone cancer.
Since his death in 2004 his family have thrown themselves into fundraising and managed to reach £1m to be used into research into osteosarcoma.
A big chunk of that money was raised from Blue Day – an event supported by The News that was first held in 2008 on the day before Pompey's FA Cup semi-final, and again before the final that year. It was then held the day before Pompey’s final home game of the season until 2018.
However, despite being officially retired, Priory School decided it wanted to continue contributing to the cause and over the bank holiday weekend joined forces with Pompey in the Community and Portsmouth Football Club to turn parts of the city blue again.
On Friday, May 3, Priory invited students and staff to wear non-uniform in exchange for a minimum donation of £1. This was also supported by three local primary schools – Milton Park, Wimborne Junior and Cottage Grove who raised £1,000.
Portsmouth firm Lead Forensics got involved by allowing staff to dress down for the day for a £5 donation, raising around £200.
On the Friday evening, more than 50 Priory staff then took part in a quiz and curry night at the Akash Restaurant in Southsea.
The weekend culminated in a charity collection during Pompey’s game at Fratton Park on Saturday, where staff from Priory School and a running group carried buckets around the outskirts of the stadium and in Fratton area to get as much loose change as possible.
Priory School headteacher Stewart Vaughan said: ‘I am very proud to have this association with the Prince family and to continue supporting this
wonderful charity. From the efforts of all of our staff and students Priory School alone raised £3,687.
‘If you then add the amounts from our local partners, we have managed to raise around £5,000 which is fantastic. But my aim is to grow this exponentially by getting more and more partners on board. As a city, we have raised a huge amount of cash over the years and I want to continue making regular donations to further UCL’s cancer research.’
The research project is led by University College London’s Professor Adrienne Flanagan, who has spent 30 years in the field and specialises in the pathology of soft tissue and bone tumours which has led to many research studies into gene sequencing.
She was the doctor in 2004 who diagnosed Tom’s cancer.