The Force was with them - youngsters from Norfolk schools dress up in memory of Finnbar Cork
PUBLISHED: 15:33 06 May 2017 | UPDATED: 15:33 06 May 2017
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They came as Stormtroopers, Princess Leias and Darth Vaders.
But the pupils and staff at Hethersett Woodside Infant and Nursery School were not decked out as their favourite Star Wars characters just for fun.
The dress-up - which also took place at about 10 other schools across Norfolk - was held in memory of Finnbar Cork, a former Woodside pupil, who died after suffering a brain tumour in August last year, aged just five.
As well as taking part in Star Wars-themed activities during the day, a plaque dedicated to Finnbar was unveiled on a ‘friendship bench’ in the school yard.
Tristan Cork, Finnbar’s father, from Hethersett, said he was “blown away” by the support shown for the day.
Mr Cork said: “To have so many schools joining in is a beautiful way to remember Finnbar. He would have been so excited to take part in something like today.”
Schools involved also raised money for Finnbar’s Force, a charity launched earlier this year by Mr Cork and his wife Claire.
The charity aims to reduce the suffering of children who have been diagnosed with brain tumours, and support their families.
Angela Jermy, headteacher, said activities at the school had included eating Star Wars biscuits, making lightsabers and creating Star Wars characters using Lego pieces.
Mrs Jermy said: “It’s been a lot of fun and it’s for a fantastic cause. Tristan and Claire have put a lot of energy into supporting other parents who are going through the same difficult time that they have.”
Pupil Fin Bowyer, six, was dressed up as Kylo Ren from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Fin said he thought the dress-up was a great idea. He said: “Finnbar loved Star Wars and he died, so we’re raising money for his charity.”
May 4 has become an unofficial annual celebration of Star Wars because of the famous line from the films: “May the Force (fourth) be with you.”
Hopes to help others
Mr Cork said Finnbar’s Force had three main aims:
1. To support children suffering from brain tumours (especially rare/unusual presentations) and their families through: information and advocacy, including the possible funding of a specialist nurse advocate role; local support groups; facilitating better access to existing services and pushing for improvement of services where necessary; and basic financial support.
2. To support and fund research into brain cancer and potential treatments through grants to research teams and support of umbrella organisations, such as Brain Tumour Research.
3. To raise awareness of the disease and its debilitating effects and to campaign for improvements in the current standard of care and support available, as well as for more research/funding of research.
There are several upcoming events planned to raise money for Finnbar’s Force.
On May 19 there will be an Oscars-themed summer ball at Glen Lodge in Bawburgh. Tickets are £27. Call Natalie Brown for more details on 01603 773227.
Details of more events can be found here.
Another upcoming event in support of Finnbar’s Force will be a ‘Jedi Walk’ at Eaton Park on Sunday, May 21 from 10.30am to 1.30pm. Children will be able to hunt for characters from the Star Wars films before a picnic.
Get in touch
The website for the new charity is www.finnbarsforce.co.uk, email is firstname.lastname@example.org, Facebook page: facebook.com/finnbarsforce, Twitter: @finnbarsforce. Donations cannot yet be made through the website, but anyone interested in donating or finding out more can call Mr Cork on 07508 548517
READ MORE: Brave Finnbar Cork from Hethersett inspires charity aimed at being ‘a new hope’ in fight against child brain tumours
READ MORE: ‘We were so lucky to have him’ - Tribute to brave Finnbar and hopes for more research in his name