In 2013, Cockburn student Kyle Asquith waved goodbye to his mother on his way to school and, a day later, he passed away following a fatal brain haemorrhage.
A year after the 15-year-old’s tragic death, students and teachers at Cockburn launched a series of special fund-raising events in his memory, with the aim of raising £5,000 for The Kyle Asquith Foundation, a charity that will support the NHS Blood and Transplant Trust Fund.
“When Kyle died he saved five people’s lives by donating his organs so, if we can help make that happen again, it would be fantastic” said Year 11 student, John Hall, one of Kyle’s best friends who took part in a 13-mile sponsored run. John was one of a group of Year 11 students who set up and ran the event. This was a voluntary fund raising event and the students showed independence, resilience and determination to successfully complete the run. It was fantastic to see so much support at the school gates for the finish line.
We started our fund-raising in 2013 with a non-uniform day that brought in £822. By June 2014 we were over £6,000. By October 2019 we are over the £37,000 mark. By 2023 the total was above £40,000!
If you wish to contribute to The Kyle Asquith Foundation please contact the school at email@example.com and title the email ‘Kyle Asquith’.
We also have a JUST GIVING site and you can make donations online at https://www.justgiving.com/kyle-asquith
The Kyle Asquith Foundation 10 Year Celebration:
Everyone in the school community, joined by members of Kyle's family and over 20 of his school friends, paid tribute in late July to Kyle and celebrated 10 years of the charity.
Despite some of the many July showers, the sun came out briefly and nearly 1000 people gathered outside. Cockburn's newly appointed Student Ambassadors stood in the shape of the number 10.
On the stage, there were readings from the newly elected Head Girl and Head Boy and a performance by the combined school and community choir who sang 'True Colours' beautifully.
Words from senior members of staff and trustees of the charity were then followed by everyone counting from 1 to 10 before fireworks marked the moment. Red and white smoke honoured Kyle's love of Arsenal FC.
Kyle's mum, Tracey, sent the following message to the staff and students of the school following the event: "Thank
you so much for today - truly an amazing but emotional afternoon. The school has helped us so much in many ways and your support is phenomenal. Thank you for everything you do to keep Kyle’s memory in everyone’s hearts."
Kyle's friends, many of whom had not been back to school for 9 years, were given a tour of the school which brought back many fond memories.
Students at Cockburn School spent the week before the Easter holidays raising funds for their school charity, the Kyle Asquith Foundation. They raised £1547! This included £300 from the Keldon School of Dance who performed at Cockburn School over the weekend before the fundraising week.
The charity was set up 10 years ago to commemorate the death of student Kyle Asquith, who passed away following a fatal brain haemorrhage. After the 15-year-old’s tragic death, students and staff at Cockburn School launched a series of special fund-raising events in his memory, with the aim of raising £5,000 to support the NHS Blood and Transplant Trust Fund and other local charities. His organs were donated and they saved the lives of five people. The Kyle Asquith Foundation has continued to raise funds to support local charities and the children of South Leeds. Since then, the charity has raised well over £40,000 and the school continues to raise funds and the awareness of organ donation. As well as donating to other charities, funds raised go to support Cockburn School students in achieving things that they may not have been able to afford otherwise. Such donations have allowed students to travel to Italy and France, buy musical instruments and IT equipment or travel to be part of national events. The charity works to support such students and remove barriers caused by the current economical challenges.
Earlier in the year, the school led assemblies for their current students so they knew all about Kyle, the work of the charity and the importance of organ donation. Over the last 10 years, Cockburn School has built such learning into the curriculum. A few years ago, members of the NHS came into school and led sessions educating the students about organ donation and its importance and impact.
Since then, the School Council, the Head Girl and members of staff have worked hard to organise a week of fundraising events that brought the school community together which culminated in a non-uniform day where students were encouraged to wear cultural dress or clothing that said something about their interests.
Here are some of the fundraising activities that took place before Easter:
• Yr10 vs Yr11 Football match - participants contributed to play and spectators to watch.
• Bake sale - cakes were made and sold in school at break and lunch, as well as at the charity football.
• Whole school non-uniform day - character and culture theme.
• Design a tote bag - students entered competition to design a tote bag to be sold to raise money.
• Variety performance (lunchtimes) - KS3 and KS4 variety performances (led entirely by students).
• Boggle tournament led by English team.
• Maths game - guess the length of the Maths corridor.
• Science - name the chick raffle.
• RE/PSHE - film event.
• ICT – game/knockout competition
• Spanish fact-finding competition.
TOTE BAG WINNING DESIGN - Congratulations to Lyla J in Year 10 and Poppy M in Year 8
The art department came up with a whole school challenge to create a design for a tote bag. Students were asked to research designs linked to organ donation and ensure that as well as a striking design, that a memorable slogan was also part of the design. The judging panel had a tough time looking through hundreds of entries and ended up choosing two designs which were merged into one. Lyla J in Year 10 and Poppy M in Year 8 were the proud winners. The bags are being printed in school and sold for £3.50 and all profits go to the charity.
Angus Smith, Assistant Headteacher and trustee of the charity said “The tote bag design is excellent. Lyla and Poppy have captured the spirit of the charity. We are very proud of them.”
Kyle's mum, Tracey Asquith, said "Please pass on my thanks to all of the students and staff for their support. It means so much."
Head of School, Rob Dixon, said: "Our current students weren’t here when Kyle was and as the years go on we want to make sure the Foundation is still going strong so that everyone can take ownership of it. We are very proud of the work that they do to raise funds and keep his memory alive."
Students at Cockburn had special assemblies to commemorate 4 years since the death of Kyle Asquith.
The school welcomed Kyle’s mother and father, Tracy and Alex Asquith as well as his grandparents, all of whom are regular visitors to the school. Tracy said that “Being part of this day at Cockburn is a big help to us on such a difficult day.”
Also, there was Raymond Tait, 39, a resident of Dundee and transplant recipient, who received Kyle’s kidney and pancreas in March 2013 after four years of intensive dialysis treatment. This was his second visit to the school to support the charity and raise awareness of organ donation. Raymond had written a poem which he shared with the students at Cockburn. Raymond was one of five people given hope by Kyle’s parents and their act of kindness.
He said he was proud to come back to Leeds and talk to the students about his life changing transplant, adding: “It goes to show how dramatically a life can change. Within a few weeks of the transplant my life had changed so much. By making more people aware and by more people signing up to donate, Kyle will save many more lives than the 5 he saved with his organs.”
Assistant Headteacher, Chris Sutcliffe, talked to the students about the work of the charity over recent years and urged them to continue the fundraising into the future. She also told students about a recent £500 donation made to south Leeds charity Charlie’s Angels, based in Middleton, that was set up by a parent who lost her child, and who wanted to support other bereaved parents in the community.
Cockburn also welcomed a number of NHS staff who wanted to raise awareness of organ donation. Dr Claire Tordoff, a consultant in the Intensive Care unit at St James Hospital, spoke of looking after the poorliest patients at the hospital and the reality of how some people who do not make it donate their organs to save the lives of others. “These people are our heroes” she said “and Kyle is one of our heroes – we are incredibly proud of him.”
Dr Catherine Penrose, Paedictric Intensive Care Consultant at the Leeds General Infirmary spoke to students of how “the families of the young people who have died and have donated their organs have hope and something positive – a legacy moving forward.”
Alex Asquith, who joined the workshops with his family and Raymond Tait, told the students “It is so comforting to know about the people who benefited from Kyle’s organs. Ray has four kids and their dad’s life is thanks to our Kyle.”
Headteacher, David Gurney, said: “Most of our current students weren’t here when Kyle was and as the years go on we want to make sure the Foundation is still going strong so that everyone can take ownership of it. We are very proud of the work that they do to raise funds and keep his memory alive.”
“Most of our current students weren’t here when Kyle was and as the years go on we want to make sure the Foundation is still going strong so that everyone can take ownership of it. We are very proud of the work that they do to raise funds and keep his memory alive.”
David Gurney, Headteacher
Projects have also included: a balloon launch (click here to read more about this); red ‘Asquith United’ ribbons – in honour of the teenager’s obsession with Arsenal; a cross-country run that many students have signed up for; as well as football tournaments, bike rides, bun / card sales and more.
Kyle’s mother, Tracy, who lives in Middleton said: “I don’t think the teachers and students at Cockburn know just how much their support has helped us come to terms with Kyle’s death. It all happened so quickly and came as such a shock. It is still odd not having Kyle around but, although we have lost a son, it feels like we have gained an entire school.”
All of the students and staff were really passionate about the charity because we feel very strongly that it is important to keep Kyle’s memory alive by helping others, just as he did.
In May 2014, a weekend of bag packing at the new ASDA store in Middleton. The store opened on 19th March and the staff generously invited us to fundraise over the weekend of the 24th/25th May. They also featured Kyle’s charity as one of the green token charities. Reflex Print Solutions (Burton on Trent), who print our newsletters, have generously agreed to donate Kyle Asquith Foundation badges and wrist bands that will be sold at future events.
Pictured below are some of the students who volunteered to bag pack.