Local choir boy, Bertie Chandler, used his singing talents to raise money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity. The 10-year-old, who attends The Blue Coat School in Birmingham, recently took part in his House Charity Day along with his classmates, together raising over £6,800 for the charity’s Critical Journeys Appeal.

The Critical Journeys Appeal, which is close to closing, is raising £2 million to kit out four Critical Care Ambulances with the latest, life-saving medical equipment. This will enable the KIDS/NTS service – an advice, stabilisation and transport service dedicated to the management of critically ill infants and children in the West Midlands – to respond faster and more effectively, helping vulnerable patients and their families get to the right place, at the right time, for the right treatment.

Bertie, who is a member of St. George’s House at The Blue Coat School along with 83 other pupils aged seven to 11 years, decided to put his love of singing to good use and created ‘Bertie’s Song Shop’ online – where he recorded and uploaded a number of songs that people could download. He was the highest individual fundraiser amongst his classmates, earning £530 through songs requests including ‘Flower of Scotland’, ‘I’m a Believer’ and ‘I don’t like Mondays’. Perhaps the most challenging for the Chelsea FC fan, was a request for the Manchester United Calypso!

Bertie’s classmates have also been very busy in supporting the Appeal, by spending their free time car washing, window cleaning, gardening, shoe shining, holding raffles and cake sales and completing a sponsored litter pick. Pranav Rebbapragada, for example, wrote a story which he printed and sold, whilst Wahid Abdurrahman entertained guests at his father’s restaurant with his amazing general knowledge recall. Aryan Sharma and Flynn McLoughlin helped their grandmothers with housework and ironing, and Rohun Manarkattu sold roses. 

The sport-loving pupils also invested their energy in sponsored runs, bike rides, non-stop kickboxing, a cricket challenge and a speed bounce. They even completed a Virtual Velo Challenge to replicate one of the most regular journeys made by the KIDS/NTS ambulances – from the Birmingham Women’s Hospital in Edgbaston to the Children’s Hospital in the city centre – clocking up over 128 miles on two spin bikes in just a week.

St George’s House Head, Nick Hill, commented: “When a group of St. George’s boys visited Birmingham Children’s Hospital recently they were inspired to help them raise money to equip a fleet of four Critical Care Ambulances with the latest life-saving medical equipment. Many of the children have parents that work at Birmingham Children’s Hospital or have experienced treatment there themselves so they know just how important the ambulances are. I’m extremely proud of the boys who have raised a staggering £6,825.19, surpassing all my expectations!”

Serena Daw, Public Fundraising Manager at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “It’s lovely to see these school mates get so creative for our charity – finding new and challenging ways to raise money for us. A ‘Song Shop’ is definitely one fundraiser I haven’t seen before and we’re so thankful to Bertie for putting his talents to good use. We’re very close to closing our Critical Journeys Appeal, and this money takes us one step closer to the finish line. The boys should be very proud to know they will be helping critically ill infants and children get the treatment they need.”