Generous kids send teacher to Lourdes

St Joseph's teacher Sally Lee with pupils Tia and Ellie.
St Joseph's teacher Sally Lee with pupils Tia and Ellie.
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A group of kind-hearted Lancaster schoolchildren gave their teacher an extra special end of year present – a contribution to a pilgrimage to Lourdes to aid her recovery from breast cancer.

The children, current and former pupils of St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Lancaster, took it on themselves to help raise £250 for teacher Sally Lee.

When Mrs Lee was diagnosed with breast cancer back in October, siblings Ryan, Ellie and Tia Hayes were desperate to do whatever they could to help.

Tia, who was in Mrs Lee’s Year 4 class, sister Ellie in Year 6 and former student Ryan, who now attends Our Lady’s High School, began to plan how they could help.

When they heard that Mrs Lee was hoping to attend the Lancaster Diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes, France, once she had completed her chemotherapy, they decided to generate sponsorship money to help ensure she could make it to the grotto renowned for its miraculous healings.

Mrs Lee said: “I cried when they told me what they wanted to do. I couldn’t believe that somebody would do something like that for me.

“It’s so generous of them and for children so young to want to help others is incredibly inspiring.

“They really are a credit to the families and the school. They even tried to keep it secret because they wanted to surprise me.”

Headteacher Juliet Walling added: “I know everyone at St Joseph’s is very proud of the children and the kindness, compassion and selflessness that they have demonstrated. They are a fantastic example to all of us and embody the Catholic ethos that we promote throughout school.

“We’re also very proud of Mrs Lee, the recovery she is making and her positive attitude.

“She always has a big smile on her face and I know the children are delighted to see her back in school at the moment.”

Mrs Lee has completed her chemotherapy and is recovering well. She is currently awaiting reconstructive surgery and the results of further tests but is looking forward to her pilgrimage.

“I’ve been to Lourdes before but as a carer, never as a pilgrim. I can’t praise or thank the children enough for their generosity,” she said.

Ellie and Tia handed over their hard-earned sponsorship money to Mrs Lee on Friday at the school’s final assembly of the academic year.