SCHOOLS in Basingstoke and Deane will be supporting an important cause next month when they take part in a huge fundraising drive.

Pupils and staff at various local schools will be taking part in Ark Day on June 21, helping to make a big difference to the Ark Cancer Centre Charity’s £5m campaign to help fund a new NHS cancer treatment centre at Basingstoke hospital.

Children will be joining in on the day by dressing up in yellow, green and blue – Ark Cancer Centre Charity’s colours – and the Ark Day mascot, Moneypenny, will be aiming to visit as many as possible to thank them for their efforts.

With 76 schools in the borough, the Ark Day Organising Committee is hoping as many as possible will join in with the fun and donate just a small amount to collectively make a huge difference to the local cause.

Hatch Warren Infant School, in Gershwin Road, pictured right top, is one of those schools which has already pledged its support.

Michelle Moore, headteacher, said: “We are keen to support this charity because it’s local and our support will make a difference towards funding the new cancer treatment centre. As a school we have had both staff and parents affected and this will show our support towards them.”

Another school taking part is Castle Hill Primary School, pictured below, which has campuses in both Winklebury and Rooksdown, and was the very first school to sign up to be involved.

Headteacher John Martin encouraged everyone to enjoy the day, and said: “The Ark Day should be a day full of fun, colour and activity in support of an incredibly important cause. Five million pounds is a huge amount of money to attempt to raise.

“Mark Jones and the team at the Ark have done a tremendous job in raising over two million pounds to date. Truly inspiring.

“Our non-uniform day is planned to give everyone a chance to get involved. Who knows, we might even get a visit from the Moneypenny. Onwards and upwards they say let’s all enjoy this great Ark Day.”

Various other schools have also signed up to take part, but there is still time for others to register by going to