Teenager’s show raises £12k for charity

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A Harrogate teenager who raised more than £12,000 for a national cancer charity has been shortlisted for a top volunteering award.

Niamh Boyle, a Year 11 Ashville College pupil, raised the sum by staging a Songs from the Musicals concert in the town’s St Wilfrid’s Church in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, which was attended by 200 people.

Following the concert - staged in memory of her aunt and uncle, who both died of cancer and were supported in the last days of their lives by Macmillan nurses – Niamh was nominated for The Young Macmillan Champion Award 2019 for inspiring and exceptional young volunteers, by Michaela Ryder, Macmillan Cancer Support senior fundraising manager.

In a letter informing her of the news, Joelle Leader, Macmillan Cancer Support volunteering director, said: “A nomination for a Macmillan Volunteer Award is a huge achievement in itself, signifying that those around you feel you have demonstrated remarkable standards of volunteering.

“Your ability to not only organise, but also perform at an event for 200 people, shows an extraordinary passion, initiative and talent that is well beyond your years, we have been absolutely blown away by the commitment you have shown to Macmillan, it’s clear that you go way beyond your role and we’re thrilled to recognise your contribution to Macmillan.”

Niamh, who set a fundraising target of £3,000, spent most of her summer holidays organising and rehearsing for the special night, where she was joined on stage by fellow Ashville pupils and musical theatre friends, to perform hits from Hairspray, The Greatest Showman and Ghost.

Volunteers from Macmillan and family and friends helped serve drinks and sell raffle tickets, and guests were also treated to food at an after-show party and a silent auction which offered prizes including a weekend breaks in Edinburgh and Copenhagen, Kylie Minogue concert tickets and Rudding spa and golf days.

Ashville College Headmaster Richard Marshall said: “What Niamh achieved for Macmillan Cancer Support is truly magnificent and she thoroughly serves this recognition. She is an inspiration to many and a wonderful ambassador for Ashville College.”

Nominations for a Macmillan Volunteer Award are first considered for a regional award by a regional volunteer-led awards panel, and those that are successful in achieving a regional award are then put forward for the national award in the same category.

Niamh will be notified this month if she has been selected as a winner in her category, either regionally or nationally.