Diana Awards Champion Fundraisers

Sometimes a difficult experience can lead to something positive, and this was the case for two pupils from the Royal Alexandra and Albert School, Emily Gaunt and Olivia Helden. Their efforts in helping the Teenage Cancer Trust were acknowledged with a prestigious Champion Fundraiser Diana Award in a high-profile awards ceremony at the Barclays HQ in London on Tuesday 1st July. The Diana Award recognises inspirational and socially active young people and encourages them to become more involved in their local communities.

The two 16 year old pupils, along with three other friends, formed the “Escaping Skylines” band which helped raise hundreds of pounds for the Teenage Cancer Trust. All of the band members had been affected by teenage cancer in a number of ways and wanted to use their creative skills to raise awareness.

The group formed last summer to write and record the song It’s All in Me. Although the group had some assistance from two local producers, they wrote the lyrics and made the arrangements by themselves, and were able to perform and record the song using their own equipment.

Escaping Skylines travelled to Brighton to record an upbeat and fun video for their song, with the assistance of Jimmyteens.tv. The song was played at local events and has helped to raise money for Teenage Cancer Trust.

But the song hasn’t stopped there! It’s All in Me was submitted in a funding bid and contributed towards Teenage Cancer Trust being awarded £10,000.

John Carroll, Teenage Cancer Trust Youth Support Coordinator, said of the band, “It has been a privilege to see the song and its accompanying video being written and recorded, and to witness how well the band have bonded together as a group to achieve this. I have been struck throughout by the creativity and goodwill of the band members, and by their determination and commitment to do something really special.”

Three of the band members, including Emily and Olivia were presented their Champion Fundraiser Award at the National Diana Awards Ceremony by Hannah Barrett, a top 10 contestant in the X Factor 2013.

Emily’s mother, Vanessa Gaunt, said of the band’s achievement “We are immensely proud. They are an inspirational group of young people who, although facing their own difficult situations, came together to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust and the fantastic work they do in helping young people with cancer."

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