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Developing the Whole Child

Young Dominicans supporting Young Lives V Cancer

On Thursday 13th June, Mrs Valerie Cubitt came to school to collect a cheque for the charity Young Lives V Cancer. The school were delighted to be able to present Valerie with a cheque for £3000.00 raised by the pupils and staff of the school from our annual Beach Walk. Valerie spoke to all of our junior pupils explaining the work of the charity and how the sum raised by Dominican will be used to help families and young people going through cancer.

Valerie spoke powerfully to our young students about her own life journey and in particular a traumatic childhood event which saw her spend three years in The Royal Hospital, Belfast- also one of this year’s Dominican charities. She told pupils how she felt compelled to start voluntary work with YLVC in 2017 and she showed pupils exactly how their fund raising efforts would help people dealing with the realities of cancer and told them how YLVC provide accommodation for families in Belfast, Manchester and Bristol when family members are receiving cancer treatment.


Many members of our school community have had or will have some form of cancer within their lifetime. Young Lives V Cancer (formerly Clic Sargent) is UK wide charity that supports children and young people diagnosed with cancer and their families.

Approximately 2 children per week are diagnosed in Northern Ireland with some form of cancer. We were delighted to be able to help YLVC for the first time as a designated Dominican Charity alongside The Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children and Aware NI as well as our continued support for Dominican College, Myanmar.


Young Lives V Cancer (YLVC) provide support in lots of different ways through our grants, social work service, and “Homes from Home”. Families face an additional cost of almost £700 per month whenever a child or young adult is diagnosed. YLVC provide grants and benefit support to those families- as well as free accommodation in our two “Homes from Home” in Belfast to help with cancer costs. The Dominican donation of £3000 will keep a family for a year nearly in one of our homes from home and this is a brilliant achievement.


Thanking Valerie for her visit to the school and her inspirational words, Dominican Principal, Mr Lynch, explained,

“The annual Dominican Beach Walk is one of a number of initiatives we use to support our chosen charities and our entire school community, in line with our school ethos, walked together in support of social justice. Acknowledging those in need and reaching out in support continues to be a vital part of our Dominican philosophy of education.


Our challenge as a Dominican school, is to maintain this proud tradition and that every member of our Dominican community does their best to raise as much money as we can to help those in need within our community and beyond our school walls.  Over the past twenty years we in Dominican College, Portstewart have raised in almost £200,000 for our sponsored charities as a consequence of our Beach Walk alone and added considerable to this total with our ongoing social justice initiatives including Trocaire and our Christmas appeals.

We were delighted to have been able to help Young Lives V Cancer this year and the true impact of this charity was brought home to us when Isla, the daughter of one of our colleagues, had a serious health issue and found herself receiving support from YLVC and other agencies. Isla is a pupil of Damhead Primary school and we are delighted to work with Mrs Jill Laverty, a Dominican parent, and the staff and parents of Damhead in a collective fundraising event this weekend.”


The school is planning a further fund-raising series of events in the final week of term which will combine raising money for YLVC with pupil well-being initiatives.


This Sunday will be Isla’s Tractor Run Family Fun Event at Roadside Garages.


The tractor run registration will be open from 12pm and will leave at 1pm and head along the NW200 route. There will be some stalls, bouncy castles, face painting, balloon modelling and some fun games alongside a BBQ.


There will also be an Irish Dancing and Gymnastics display during the afternoon. Rodd Hogg will be there alongside some other local celebrity guests.


Hopefully the weather will be dry and there will be a good turn-out.


In order to help the day run as smoothly as possible and raise as much money as we can for Young Lives vs Cancer and Macmillan Cancer, we are looking for as many volunteers as we can to help out on the day or who could donate some bottles to the bottle hoopla for prizes. All bottles are welcome: spirits, beer, wine, soft drinks, bubble bath, sauce, fairy liquid. Anything is suitable as long as it’s in a bottle.

If you can help out or have any bottles you can donate please contact the school ( 02870832715)