Going bananas with bandanas at Portrush Primary

Barry Torrens, who is climbing Mont Blanc in July to raise funds for Cancer Research UK, is pictured with his children Jenny, Anna and William along with Mark McMahon from Cancer Research UK, Karen Maguire, teacher, and Carwyn Guy, principal, during a fundraising bananas and bandanas day at Portrush Primary School on Friday. CR16-410PL
Barry Torrens, who is climbing Mont Blanc in July to raise funds for Cancer Research UK, is pictured with his children Jenny, Anna and William along with Mark McMahon from Cancer Research UK, Karen Maguire, teacher, and Carwyn Guy, principal, during a fundraising bananas and bandanas day at Portrush Primary School on Friday. CR16-410PL
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ON a chilly Friday morning the staff and children of Portrush Primary School yet again generated lots of heat and passion for their latest charity campaign.

The school council had earlier in the year nominated ‘dad’ and local businessman, Barry Torrens, to be given the school’s full support with his forthcoming climb of Mont Blanc in aid of Cancer Research UK.

So many families nowadays know the misery caused by cancer but the staff and pupils of Portrush Primary had decided upon a very positive and fun way to support Barry’s efforts.

Firstly, they wrote their Christmas show around the theme of putting your ‘Best Foot Forward’, which was followed up this week by making bandanas with artist Liz Waddell to use their creative flair and design in a positive way, whilst showing empathy with those who experience hair loss during treatment and also remembering how important it is to protect heads from potential sunburn...if we ever get any sun!

Secondly, they had a hilarious mish-mash of old banana themed songs, dance routines and weird banana facts delivered under the watchful eye of their very own, ‘Bananaman’, in the form of Healthy Eating Co-Ordinator, teacher Mr Birch.

The importance of supporting Cancer Research UK was brought home by the charity’s newest ambassador, Mark McMahon, who had travelled all the way from Belfast to support the event.

Then it was over to the budding mountaineer himself, Barry Torrens, who gave a fantastic demonstration of the hugely physical challenge he faces, by combining a Powerpoint presentation with a very interesting layering on of the different clothing items and equipment he would need at various stages of his climb.

The children, having worn their bandanas and given a contribution to the charity, were delighted to discover that their very own lollipop lady, Kathleen Curran, was also coming on board to raise more money for Cancer Research UK by being sponsored by staff and friends to ride on the back of a motorbike to Belfast during North West 200 Week.

Plucky Kathleen chose her favourite bandana design that she will borrow to wear on that occasion. Readers will be kept informed.

All in all, another fantastic day when the children and staff of Portrush Primary enjoyed getting behind a wonderful charity ambassador from their own home town and supporting a cause that will benefit the entire community.