Secondary school teacher smashes fundraising goal for her children

22nd August 2022

On Friday 19th August, St Barnabas Hospice shared a story about patient Sam Pickersgill, a 47-year old mother of two with a progressive brain and leptomeningeal disease. Doctors sadly do not know how long she has left, but Sam knows what she wants to do with the time she has: Give her children great memories to treasure.

Sam started a GoFundMe, hoping to raise £1,000. On Thursday 25th August, that total stands over £4,700! A fantastic result thanks to the generosity of the community, and the number keeps going up.

On top of this, there have been offers from organisations and individuals to give Sam and her family a getaway holiday, as well as local equestrian centres offering Sam’s horse-obsessed daughter Hattie riding lessons. St Barnabas Hospice are also hoping to find an organisation who can help 10-year old Dominic with a football experience.

Sam is a much-loved secondary school teacher, who has inspired thousands of people in her community through her work. Many of the people who have donated on her GoFundMe or offered support via social media remember her fondly from their school days.

Former student Carly Young shares some memories of having Sam as a teacher: “In 2017 I moved schools to attend the Priory Witham Academy, where Sam was my Head of Year. I was previously told by every teacher that there was no chance of me getting anywhere. We bonded from the get-go and Sam made me believe in myself.Blonde woman wearing white T-shirt and black trousers holding young girl with short hair and sunglasses in outdoors setting. With caption underneath "Sam and Carly Young"

“I have so many great memories from school with Sam, my favourite has to be on sports day when I ran the 100m for my tutor group. Sam was at the finish line shouting my name and as I ran I just wanted to make her proud. For coming first place, Sam gave me a big hug and told me how proud she was of me.

“She even took time to write a reference for my university application, and bearing in mind it was the Christmas holidays she did it for me during her time off! I’m now going to be attending university studying mental health in September and that is all because of her showing me how to believe in myself.

“She wasn’t just my teacher, she saved my life and I wouldn’t be where I am today without her. Sam, I’ll always look at the moon for you.”

Another former student, Kaisha, says: “We would always call Sam ‘Mrs P’. She taught me through my later stages of science in year 10 and 11 and became my form tutor in year 12. Mrs P was such an amazing teacher, and made sure you were seen and heard, making sure you were okay.

“It’s amazing to see so many fellow former students support Sam. I think it says a lot about the kind of person Sam is and how much she means to us, even though most of us have been out of school for 5+ years.”

Sarah Baker (née Waby) also has great memories of Sam, saying: “I was taught by her from 2008 to 2013 and she made science so fun!

“She always made time to explain things and would get us all up and interacting to help us to fully understand certain topics. She helped us all so much through our GCSE’s too, making revision cards and packs all off her own back.

“Sam was such an approachable teacher and always found a way to make you laugh. She was one of the best teachers at Witham!”

If you can support Sam and her family, please visit her GoFundMe page:

Additionally, if you would like to support us to find ways to treat Dominic with anything football or Real Madrid related, please get in touch with St Barnabas Hospice via 01522 540 300 or by emailing [email protected]


Top image: Sam and her husband Ro on their wedding day

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