MORE than £51,000 was raised by Alva Academy as part of this year's Macmillan Cancer Support fundraising.

Pupils once again took on sponsored events and a range of activities, led by the current S6 cohort.

Young people went above and beyond amid the pandemic with this year's total ceremoniously announced at a special assembly last Friday, November 5.

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

They trio welcomed to the school Macmillan fundraising manager Michelle Campbell on the day before the assembly went ahead for the S6 cohort.

Mr Clifford said: "What that was designed to do was to really demonstrate to them just how much they've actually done and how much time they've given up."

He added: "Despite every barrier that they've had – and they had so many this year given the restrictions – they smashed through every barrier, they saw every restrictions as an opportunity to develop creative new ways of raising awareness and getting other pupils involved."

The money, totalling at £51,500.83, will pay for every grant given out by Macmillan around the Hillfoots – a feat which has been achieved many times over the years.

It could also pay for nursing care, bedding and clothing for people undergoing treatment, bereavement counselling and booklets to help people cope.

Alva Academy remains the top non-corporate fundraiser for Macmillan and pupils at the assembly were shown messages of thanks from representatives of the good cause from all over the UK.

Many were visibly moved at the assembly and Mr Clifford added: "Nothing's more important to us than the pupils in the school.

"To see them do something so selfless for people that they'll probably never even meet – and do it the right way, embrace our values, develop all these skills and create the memories they created in the circumstances we've been living in for the past two years – is just remarkable.

"There are no words, really, to describe how proud we are of the achievements of our pupils."

Many were stunned when the final total was revealed and it is understood the school has raised nearly £450,000 for the good cause over the past two decades.

Mr Clifford issued a nod of thanks to everyone who has been involved and said: "Thank Macmillian, that's why we are there, that's why we do what we do: because, like every other charity that we raised money for, we can't thank them enough for what they do.

"But we know at some point that the majority of our pupils, unfortunately, will encounter cancer at some point in their lives.

"Hopefully, when they do, they'll draw upon the memories they have, the friendships they created and that support platform is already in place."