RESTRICTIONS and Covid could not hamper the annual Macmillan charity effort at a Hillfoots school.

Staff at Alva Academy were “gobsmacked” after pupils and the community, led by the S6 cohort, raised more than £48,200 for the good cause this year.

It was the 20th anniversary year of Macmillan Cancer Support fundraising at Alva with pupils taking on sponsored events and a range of activities last week.

The whole school embraced the effort with young people going “above and beyond” amid the pandemic to drive forward the charity drive.

Sponsored events included climbs up Ben Nevis, walks, cycles, swims and even a triathlon.

Others included knitting, baking, football games, dance, e-sports with 24 hour live streams and more.

Over three days of events last week, many braved the shave for Macmillan while Friday, October 22, saw the coffee morning in the school with all the fun it brings, even if restrictions applied.

David Clifford is one of three teachers supporting the pupils in their efforts each year, along with wife Kirsty and colleague Shiona Finn.

He said: “We are absolutely and utterly gobsmacked.

“That was the most that I've seen children smiling and having fun in two years, it was just incredible, even though we couldn't unfortunately invite the public and the parents to see just how hard the pupils have worked and joined in with the fun of today.

“They were just phenomenal.”

As with each fundraising year in the school, the focus is not on the money and hitting records, but embracing values and taking part.

Mr Clifford added: “Not one pupil throughout the last month or so has even mentioned how much we have raised – no one has mentioned the total.

“They've done it in the right way, they've done it by having fun.”

The annual initiative brought some much needed fun and positivity into the school and community.

While the funds raised are almost a “by-product”, Mr Clifford was blown away by the amount raised.

He said: “The money itself will do wonders because we know more than anyone just how much charities have been hit.

“To be able to raise enough money to pay for every single grant Macmillan give out to our whole area, our whole community, is incredible and we've managed to do that almost five-fold in one year.

“It's just mind-blowing, we couldn't be prouder.”

Over the past 20 years, the school has nearly raised £450,000 for the good cause.

Mr Clifford issued a big thanks to all pupils, parents and carers, staff and the community for taking part and donating.

Parents are being advised that the raffle is still open while people who are looking to support the fundraiser can visit