Big-hearted teenager holds swap shop to raise money for St Clare Hospice

Laura Weekes with members of her family and St Clare Hospice community fundraiser Sarah Calder.

Laura Weekes with members of her family and St Clare Hospice community fundraiser Sarah Calder. - Credit: Archant

A SIXTH form student has been hailed a “poster girl” of St Clare Hospice after organising a ­charity fashion swap shop for the organisation.

County High School pupil Laura Weekes, 17, held the event at the Saffron Walden Almshouses, in Abbey Lane. A steady stream of visitors took part in the ‘bring and buy’ type sale, and it saw the teenager raise more than £270.

Laura, who is studying applied art and English literature and will be going into Year 13 at from September, was inspired to help the Hastingwood-based hospice following a visit by its community fundraiser for Uttlesford, Sarah Calder, to the school.

Laura said: “Sarah addressed us in an assembly and I really wanted to help. My family has connections with the hospice, and many of my friends are aware of it, so I was delighted to be able to raise money for it.

“The event was brilliant and we raised more than I was expecting – I would like to hold other fundraising events in future.

“I would like to thank the Almshouses for letting out the space for free, and for everyone who turned up on the day.”

The event comes on the back of efforts made by the hospice to engage with the older students at the County High.

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Mrs Calder said the initaitive offers them the opportunity to do some voluntary work with the support of a mentor.

She said: “I have been in to the school to speak to the students about this as we have developed a programme whereby they can do the voluntary work required by, say, the DofE scheme.

“They can initiate a project of their own, work through it with a mentor and have very businesslike documentation of the process to show employers after the event.”

Mrs Calder said: “It is fantastic that somebody so young wants to do something for the charity – we often struggle to get young people involved.

“We were there to assist but Laura did everything. She is really is the hospice’s poster girl.”