From left to right; Angela Norwood-Pearson, James Hill, James Clarke, Liam Palmer.

Local Charity Fundraiser receives Royal Invitation

12 May 2017

James Clarke, Admissions Administrator at North Notts College, was surprised and overjoyed to receive an invitation to the Queen’s Tea Party at Buckingham Palace on the 16th May.

James, who was nominated by John Connolly, Chief Executive of RNN Group, for his charity work and founder member of Worksop’s Got Talent event. This spectacular showcase held at North Notts Arena in November, celebrated the many talented people living in and around Worksop with profits raised going to the RP Fighting Blindness Charity.

As part of a year of fundraising, James wanted to finish with a big event and came up with the concept of a talent show.  The Workshop’s Got Talent returns on Friday November 10th 2017 at North Notts Arena. Tickets will be available to buy in May.

As a fundraiser and sufferer of Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), James wanted to raise a significant sum of money to go towards researching this condition in the hope of finding a cure. RP is the name given to a group of inherited conditions of the retina that all lead to a gradual progressive reduction in vision. There is hope that they will find something to curb the condition in the next 10 years.

James raised a total of £6,000 for this charity last year and hopes to raise even more this year.

James is a valued member of the Admissions team at North Notts College having worked at the college for three years now, first coming to the college as a student in 2011 on a Media course. He joined the Student Services team in April 2014 as an Apprentice and has since completed his Advanced Apprenticeship and now works in a permanent role in the Admissions Department.

“I was so shocked to be invited to Buckingham Palace.” said James. “It’s a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I feel so incredibly proud that a simple idea turned into a successful annual charity event – that leads to amazing days out like this!  My eye condition means that I’ve got to live life to the full, so being nominated for this means the absolute world to me.”

James was nominated by John Connolly Chief Executive of RNN Group and former Principal at North Notts College, who commented; “James’s story is a real success story for the College starting with us as a student, then an apprentice and now becoming a permanent member of our admissions team, so it was worrying news to hear the recent diagnosis of his eye condition.

“However, the way James has tackled the challenge of his condition is an inspiration to us all, and the fantastic enthusiasm with which he has embarked on his fundraising activities is truly commendable.

“When the opportunity was presented to nominate someone for a Queen’s Garden Party invitation I immediately thought of James.”

James has chosen to attend the garden party in London on the 16th May, with his sister as he didn’t feel it was fair to choose between his parents. “How could I pick between my parents, it just didn’t seem right” said James. “Such a shame I can only take one guest, it would have been a fantastic day out for us all, but we will take loads of photos so that we will have lots of memories of this special day.”

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