Wigan school keeps former pupil's memory alive

Zac Barston
Zac Barston

A school is ensuring the memory of one of its former pupils lives on after raising thousands of pounds for a brain tumour charity.

Over the past three years, Garswood Primary has held a number of fund-raising events which has seen pupils get up to all sorts of challenges such as sponsored swims, Christmas jumper and wear a hat days.

Staff and pupils at the school

Staff and pupils at the school

And it has all been to raise money for the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital’s Children’s Brain Tumour Research Network in memory of 10-year-old Zac Barston who passed away in 2015 following a brave battle with an aggressive brain tumour called glioblastoma multiforme.

The Hamilton Road school’s contribution, which currently totals £2,755, was celebrated at a special presentation ceremony at school where Zac’s parents Jeff and Donna, as well as his sister Hannah, collected a cheque from staff and pupils who wore green, the colour of the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity.

All of the money raised goes towards treatment and improving the quality of life of youngsters with brain tumours.

Jeff said: “The ongoing support from staff, parents and children at Garswood Primary School has been amazing and we are so grateful for their efforts to raise funds in Zac’s memory for something so close to our hearts.

“Zac was such a caring young boy who loved his time at the school and he would have been so proud to know that his memory is helping other children unfortunate enough to be in the same situation.”

Headteacher Pam Potter said: “Zac was an important part of Garswood school and is remembered for his kind and thoughtful manner and great sense of humour. His courage and bravery will be forever admired. I’m enormously proud of the children and delighted with the community and their commitment to raise funds for this worthy cause which we’ll continue to support.”

Glioblastoma multiforme is the most aggressive cancer that begins within the brain, the cause of which in most cases is unclear.

Doctors are in disagreement as to how the disease should be tackled and the prognosis is grim, with most patients surviving for 12 to 15 months after diagnosis.

The Zac Barston Tribute Fund has received some big donations in the past, not least one topping £18,000 from an event organised by the youngster’s former football manager Martin Donaldson.