Berkhamsted Group | 28.05.2017

Update: Teacher’s skydive to raise money for Teenage Cancer Trust in memory of Izzy Docherty.

Update: Teacher’s skydive to raise money for Teenage Cancer Trust in memory of Izzy Docherty.

Update: Skydive complete, congratulations Roland! 

Over £8,000 raised for Teenage Cancer Trust.  Any further donations to this fantastic cause would be very much appreciated. 

Ahead of the skydive, Roland was be interviewed live on BBC 3 Counties Radio. Click here to listen via BBC iPlayer, interview starts at 2hrs 37mins. 

When Roland Maxted, a Religion and Philosophy teacher at Berkhamsted School set himself the challenge of fundraising for Teenage Cancer Trust, he aimed to raise around £1200 in memory of former student Isabelle Docherty. 

Within days the total had skyrocketed beyond his target and now, two weeks before the jump, Roland is astonished to see the donations continue to roll in.  With the total now above £7,000 it is thought to be the most successful individual fundraising campaign in the School’s 476 year history.  

On Tuesday 11th April Roland will travel to Brackley Airfield knowing he is just hours away from a strong test of his courage – launching himself out from the plane for the tandem skydive at 10,000ft.  

Without doubt, this fundraising campaign is close to the hearts of the Berkhamsted School community. Izzy was aged 17 and a Sixth Form student when she was diagnosed with cancer.

Izzy was referred to the University College Hospital London to be cared for by the Teenager Cancer Trust HUB for 13-19 year olds.  Here she benefited from the expert treatment and world-class cancer care funded primarily by donations from the general public.    

As Housemaster, Mr Maxted could see as much as anyone the huge impact Izzy’s bravery and positive attitude had on the school community. He had taught Izzy since she was in Year 9 and they had both sang in the Senior School Choir.

Izzy achieved 11A* and an A in her GCSEs and hoped to read History at Cambridge University. She was highly ambitious and had a great sense of adventure. She trained with the GB shooting squad, and hoped to represent her country at the Commonwealth Games and Olympics in the future. 

Roland said “Of all the fundraising activities, I chose skydiving, because in a small way it reflects Izzy’s tremendous bravery and positive attitude at a time of such turbulence.” 

“From my perspective, there is no better charity to support than Teenage Cancer Trust. Not just for the care they give to teenagers suffering from cancer, but their ongoing support to friends and family as well. They have two units at UCL hospital, and the whole atmosphere is set up to create a sense of normality for teenagers in their care.  

“I’m completely overwhelmed by the generosity of people.  Parents, staff, friends, family and the whole community have been incredibly supportive of the cause. To see the total get to £7,000 is incredible. There was a £1,000 anonymous donation, we have no idea who it is from!
“I’m so thankful for the way the Berkhamsted School community has rallied around to support this fundraising effort.”  

Donations continue to flood in. Roland’s campaign has been supported by 155 people with donations averaging £45 (correct as of 24th March).  The very first donation was from Izzy’s family; Fiona, Mark and Cara Docherty.   

Roland has abseiled for charity before, but has never taken on a challenge like this. After a brief induction, he will fly to 10,000ft. When the doors to the plane open, his life will be in the hands of the trained instructor, and they will fall at 120mph.  

It is no surprise that Roland initially postponed his February jump, when a calf injury sustained whilst refereeing a school football match flared up during a skiing holiday at half-term.  

“Not many people believe me when I say that I’m genuinely excited for this bucket list challenge. After the delay I’m really keen to get on with it, but there’s no doubt when I’m standing on the plane ready to jump these feeling will be very different!” 

“I don’t see the skydive as an achievement in itself. The achievement comes from the generosity of the donors, which has been incredible.” 

Roland received a letter from Just Giving to acknowledge that his fundraising campaign was in the top 1% in the whole country for February.  

Every pound raised will help Teenage Cancer Trust get closer to their goal to help every young person with cancer in the UK. 

Click here to donate | Weblink

Hailey Amani, Regional Fundraiser for Teenage Cancer Trust said ” Roland’s impressive fundraising efforts for his skydive exemplifies the outstanding dedication of the individuals at Berkhamsted School, to raising money in memory of Izzy and to help other young people facing cancer.

“As well as running our dedicated Teenage Cancer Trust units, we’re working with designated hospitals to reach young people with cancer, regardless of their location. The money raised will make a huge difference to the lives of so many young people, and we would like to thank Roland, and the school, for all their hard work.”

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