Home schooling during the Covid-19 lockdown has been both testing and rewarding for children, parents and teachers.
Finding new ways to keep children engaged has been challenging and one home school English project inspired 11-year-old Jamie Stuart from Carlisle to create his own magazine, raising £185 for North East cancer charity, the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, in the process.
The Yewdale Primary School pupil is a big Newcastle United fan and decided to write about his favourite club for his English homework.
He created ‘NUFC Weekly,’ a 30-page magazine complete with puzzles, player stats, adverts and quizzes. It also features an interview with NUFC Academy player, Joe White, a profile on his dad’s hero, Alan Shearer, and a section about the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.
Jamie’s mam, Sarah Stuart, said: “We’re very proud of all the efforts Jamie’s gone to making his magazine as real as possible. His favourite subjects are usually maths and PE but this really captured his imagination.
“We know Joe White’s family and, when we asked if he’d help, he said yes straight away. Jamie asked him some really good questions about his life in football and Joe sent some great pictures to help out.”
Regular visitors to St James’ Park, Jamie’s whole family, including seven-year-old sister, Eva, are all Newcastle fans. He had won a competition to be a Newcastle club mascot when the team took on Bournemouth away. Sadly, due to the Covid-19 restrictions, Bournemouth AFC reluctantly had to cancel that special treat.
Sarah added: “The kids have been really good during lockdown. They’ve got on with their school work and kept themselves busy playing games and walking the dog. The big thing Jamie’s missed is playing football but he’s not let it get him down too much.
“Obviously, it’s been difficult doing all their school work at home but both Eva and Jamie have continued learning.
“Jamie’s a big Newcastle fan and knew about Sir Bobby Robson but he didn’t know the history of his Foundation. He was so impressed with what he found out that he included a donation request in his magazine. When he shared it with family and friends, they were kind enough to put some money in as their way of saying well done.”
Sir Bobby Robson launched his Foundation in 2008 and it has gone on to raise over £14 million. An NHS charity, it aims to find more effective ways to detect and treat cancer by working in partnership with other leading charities and organisations.
Alan Shearer, a Patron of the Foundation, was so impressed by Jamie’s magazine that he sent a personal video message congratulating him and thanking him for supporting Sir Bobby’s charity.
Alan said: “I’m very impressed with Jamie’s magazine. I think he might have a career in journalism ahead of him. And maybe one day he’ll be creating match programmes.
“I love the write up about Sir Bobby and his Foundation. Jamie’s obviously done his research very thoroughly. Although, I have to say, the section about me reads pretty well too!
“I’d like to thank Jamie for all his hard work and for fundraising for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation during the lockdown. We really appreciate everything he’s done.”
Jamie was thrilled by Alan’s comments and said: “I’m very surprised and happy I have raised so much for the charity. When I was writing my magazine, I had no idea Alan Shearer would read it, which is amazing.”
As a fund within the Newcastle Hospitals NHS Charity, the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation does not employ professional fundraisers to proactively raise money, and relies completely on third party, volunteer fundraisers and the incredible generosity of the general public.
The work funded directly benefits cancer patients in the North East and Cumbria and plays a significant role in the international fight against the disease – funding cutting-edge cancer treatment and innovative cancer support services.
For more information, please visit the Sir Bobby More Foundation website.