5000 students launch charity of the year after sad death of much loved community policeman

By Jill Dando News

5,000 students and 750 staff have launched their charity of the year after the sad death of a much loved community policeman.

The eight Somerset schools of The Priory Learning Trust (TPLT) are supporting Brain Tumour Research as their official charity of the year.

The charity was chosen after a good friend of TPLT, Jim Murray, sadly died of the disease in December 2020, aged 53. 

Jim was the community police officer for Priory Community School Academy for many years, helping hundreds of people and serving the town in so many ways.

In December 2017 Jim’s vision problems began to worsen and he was diagnosed with a grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). 

A combination of surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment kept his tumour stable until October 2019 when he started to experience light-headedness.

An emergency MRI scan at Taunton Hospital showed that Jim’s brain was swollen and a follow-up MRI at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton, confirmed his worst fears. Jim’s tumour had returned and he would need a second operation on his brain.

The much-loved community beat manager from Bridgwater, who was awarded a medal for long service and good conduct in November 2018, passed away on 26 December 2020.

Jim left behind his wife Ally, three sons Callum, Simon and Richard, four grandchildren and close family friend, and unofficially adopted son Wayne, who, along with Jim’s children set up a fundraising group called Canoeing for a Cure under the umbrella of Brain Tumour Research, to help find a cure.

The schools in the TPLT involved in the year-long partnership are: Worle Community School Academy, Priory Community School Academy, The King Alfred School Academy, St Anne’s Church Academy, Castle Batch Primary School Academy, Pawlett Primary School Academy, West Huntspill Primary Academy and East Huntspill Primary Academy.

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As schools continue to navigate the pandemic, large-scale fundraising events haven’t always been possible but, last month, The King Alfred School Academy took part in its first fundraiser in releasing a clover version of Band Aid’s ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’.

Future fundraising plans include non-uniform days and, when COVID-19 restrictions allow more, in-person events.

Neville Coles, CEO of TPLT, said: “Jim was a superb gentleman and community policeman.

“He is so incredibly missed by all of us. We are delighted to partner with Brain Tumour Research.”

TPLT is passionate about helping people, the community and its civic duty. In recent years schools across the trust have raised more than £130,000 for charities.

Mel Tiley, community development manager at Brain Tumour Research, said:“Jim’s family and Canoeing for a Cure have been wonderfully supportive of the charity and it’s wonderful to see that Jim  has now inspired a community of school children and staff to fundraise to help find a cure for the deadly disease. 

“We’re looking forward to a year-long partnership with TPLT, helping us to fund research to find a cure. ”

Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated centres in the UK. It also campaigns for the Government and the larger cancer charities to invest more in research into brain tumours in order to speed up new treatments for patients and, ultimately, to find a cure. 

The charity is the driving force behind the call for a national annual spend of £35 million in order to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in line with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukaemia and is also campaigning for greater repurposing of drugs.

If you’d like to find out how you can get involved in supporting Brain Tumour Research please visit: www.braintumourresearch.org/fundraise for more information

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