A YOUNG girl battled against the weather to raise money for a church’s collapsing roof.
Six-year-old Isla Robertson, a pupil at Cawthorne Church of England Primary School, knew that she wanted to help support Cawthorne All Saints’ Church as soon as she heard about the problems the historic setting faced.
The Grade I-listed building has been struggling after the tiles on the north side began falling off, exposing a hole that was estimated to cost more than £80,000 to fix.
Fundraising appeals have been ongoing, though repair work has been stalled following the discovery of a bat colony in the church’s eaves.
Nevertheless, Isla remained interested and she began coming up with ideas to raise money.
Her mother, Claire Lovelady, told the Chronicle: “After hearing the plea for donations, Isla asked if she could help raise some money towards the repairs and we talked about sponsorship ideas.
“Isla loves to cycle and she set herself the challenge of completing a 15-mile bike ride, which would be much further than she’s ever cycled before - we set up a Just Giving page and immediately received generous donations from friends and family.
“She then informed her teacher and headteacher about her idea and they rallied round to help, sharing her sponsorship link further with the wider school community.”
In just one week, the young girl managed to raise £550 for the repairs, with more donations expected to come.
Yet, the cycle challenge last weekend hit a hurdle when Storm Babet rolled in, bringing amber flood warnings across the borough.
While this may have discouraged others, Isla stayed strong, and began her ride along the Trans Pennine Trail on Sunday, despite the miserable conditions left in the storm’s wake.
“She loved it but she did say to me ‘it was really difficult, mummy’.
“It was really hard, especially with all the mud.
“Her dad - Marc - rode with her and she definitely got her love of cycling from him, he’s always been a cyclist.
“It’s just been a great experience, she’s been coming home every day and going through all the messages she received from people who donated.
“Everyone’s got behind her.”
Isla’s headteacher, Adam Bramall, added: “At Cawthorne we talk about shining bright for others - Isla certainly has done this in her fundraising for All Saints’ Church.
“She has gone the extra mile for such a good cause and everyone at school is incredibly proud of her efforts.
“Her actions demonstrate our Christian values in action.”