Tonbridge School’s annual Pink Day – an event held to remember and support those affected by cancer – took place on Friday 16 October. Boys and staff wore pink items to raise much-needed donations for charity.
Large areas of the school were dressed with pink decorations, including the stone boars heads on the main school gates, which sported pink bow ties, hats and feather boas.
Once dusk fell, several school buildings, including the Barton Science Centre and the chapel, were illuminated in an amazing light show which featured a projection of the breast cancer ribbon.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the focus of Pink Day, and this year the school has raised more than £5,300 to support the vital work of Breast Cancer Kent.
The school also uses its annual Pink Day to inform boys about cancer treatments and recovery, the toll this takes on families and the vital role played by the NHS and cancer charities.
A series of talks took place throughout the week. Speakers included Mrs Richie Chalmers, Consultant Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon and Breast Cancer Kent Trustee, who spoke to year nine boys about her life as a surgeon, the amazing advancements made in breast cancer surgery, and the vital role Breast Cancer Kent plays in ensuring that local treatment is as good as anywhere in the country.
Year ten boys heard from Dr Russell Burcombe, Consultant Clinical Oncologist based in Tunbridge Wells and Maidstone, who focused on how survival rates for patients with breast cancer have improved, and explained the role of sophisticated technology in advancing those survival rates.
Importantly, the boys learned that men can also get breast cancer: one in every 100 breast cancer cases in the UK affects males. Boys were reminded of the need to check their own bodies regularly and seek medical advice if they notice anything has changed.
Sixth-formers heard from three of their peers, who spoke movingly about their own journeys with cancer.
‘We were delighted to raise such a fantastic sum to support Breast Cancer Kent. Charities need our support more than ever in these difficult times,’ saidJuliet Burnett, the school’s community action manager.
‘Breast Cancer Kent is overwhelmed by the support given by Tonbridge this year,’ added Helen Teare, a volunteer for Breast Cancer Kent and also a parent at the School. ‘On a grey, cloudy day, the boys and buildings were an absolute vision in pink! All the money raised will go directly to help local patients who are undergoing treatment for breast cancer.’
Find Tonbridge School’s online School House listing here