Patrons: Bill Beaumont, Mark Lawrenson & Tisha Merry Reg Charity No: 512186

Isabelle’s shoelace scheme proves profitable as she donates £500 to St Catherine’s

Alan Sugar eat your heart out! A savvy schoolgirl equipped with just £10 and a creative enterprising idea has turned her tenner into more than £500 for charity – reaching customers from as far away as Australia!

Twelve-year-old Isabelle Evans used her first £10 note to buy colourful ribbon shoelaces which she sold online and in the St Catherine’s Hospice charity shop in Station Road, Bamber Bridge. When the money-making scheme paid off, she invested the proceeds to buy more and ended up raising the impressive sum.

She has now generously donated the profits to the Lostock Hall hospice, after experiencing the charity’s specialist care through her own family.

Business-minded Isabelle, a pupil at Brownedge St Mary’s RC High School in Bamber Bridge, was tasked with coming up with a money-making venture as part of the national Tenner Challenge scheme, whereby students are encouraged to raise as much cash as possible to donate to charity or a community project.

Isabelle, from Walton-le-Dale, said: “I noticed my sister had some colourful new shoelaces which were like ribbons, and she told me they’re really popular. Me and my dad looked online for a supplier and used the £10 to buy 10 sets of ribbon shoelaces in five different colours.

“Once I’d sold those, I used the profits to buy more – I lost count of how many I had at one point! As well as selling them in the hospice’s charity shop, I sold lots online. My eBay page had more than 2,000 views and I had customers from as far away as Switzerland and even someone in Perth in Australia, which was a massive surprise. One lady bought some white ones for her wedding shoes, which is lovely.

“I raised £502 in total, and I picked St Catherine’s because it’s helped my family. We have experience of other hospices too and the people who work at hospices are always so friendly. They really help people when they are ill.”

Isabelle’s teacher and Head of Technology at Brownedge St Mary’s RC High School, Alethea Lott, said: “Isabelle worked extremely hard and was very passionate throughout the project, and I am very pleased with her effort and determination in supporting such a wonderful charity. I look forward to seeing what her ideas are for next year’s challenge!”

Norman Cutler, fundraiser at St Catherine’s Hospice, added: “What an incredible achievement by Isabelle to raise such an impressive amount from just £10! She has worked really hard and has not only helped raise a wonderful amount of money for the hospice, but has also helped to spread the word about the good work of the charity among her school friends.

“I was delighted to be invited to speak in assembly to talk about how St Catherine’s helps people, and why the support of our communities means so much. As Isabelle has pointed out, hospices are very special, welcoming places which are here for people suffering from life-shortening illnesses, and we really couldn’t continue to provide our specialist care without the amazing support of generous people like her.

“We’d like to say a very big ‘thank you’ to Isabelle for choosing St Catherine’s to benefit from her creative efforts, and to Brownedge St Mary’s RC High School, which continues to be a wonderful supporter of the hospice.”