FIVE York schools have organised orange-themed dress-up days, bake sales and penalty shoot-outs to raise thousands of pounds for a local children's brain tumour charity.

They all agreed to ‘Go Orange for OSCAR’s’ to get behind OSCAR’s Paediatric Brain Tumour Charity, which was set up following the death in 2014 of nine-year-old York schoolboy, Oscar Hughes, of Dunnington. Orange was Oscar’s favourite colour.

Bishopthorpe Infants and Archbishop of York Juniors led the way with ‘Go Orange’ events which raised nearly £600 between them and were organised by teacher Antonino Gargiulo, who was a teacher at Dunnington School when Oscar's late brother Milo was ill with the same disease.

“Both Bishopthorpe schools enjoyed a fantastic ‘Go Orange Day’ with penalty shoot-outs, bake sales and assemblies to educate the children," he said.

“I feel very lucky to be able to support such an important cause that is very close to my heart. Having taught at Dunnington, it is easy to see why it means so much to staff, students, and the wider community. Anyone who hears the story can’t help but feel affected.

"Oscar's legacy is spreading far and wide. We look forward to supporting the charity in further events.”

Bootham School nominated OSCAR’s as their charity of the term and raised money for it at their Christmas Dressing-Up Day.

Kayleigh Oliver, head of social action at the school, who herself lost her father to a brain tumour, said: "Orange is such a distinctive colour and it was commented on how pleasant it was to be teaching rooms full of bright and cheerfully-dressed students – including the odd pumpkin, carrot and alien! We were pleased to have raised £497 and hope to take part again in the future.”

Wilberfoss Primary School nominated OSCAR’s to be their local charity of the year and
Huntington Secondary School also got involved, with one teacher challenging her class to raise £100 for her to dress as a goldfish – and they duly obliged as part of the £600 total raised on the day.

A sixth school, St. Mary’s Academy in Leek, Staffordshire, who have had two children die from brain tumours in the last decade, also took part in a ‘Go Orange’ day.

Between all six schools, £3,250 was raised, said charity manager Phil Martinez.

 “It has always been so important to us as a children’s charity to see children involved in fundraising - whether it be climbing Ben Nevis, running our Inflatable 5k or dressing in bright orange.

"The benefits of schools getting involved I have seen first hand as a teacher: the sense of pride that the children have is huge. They enjoy what they are doing and see the impact that it has on others."

Phil ran assemblies at most of the schools that took part to let them know about the charity and how their fundraising will make a difference.

The charity provides support and care for children with brain tumours, to raise awareness of signs and symptoms of the disease and to fund research into kinder treatments. 

Oscar's mother Marie, who founded the charity, said: “Children taking on that responsibility of fundraising shows maturity and a caring nature towards others, the kind of thing we want to see in our children. It makes me really proud.

“The money raised will help us to provide Booster Boxes for children with brain tumours, as well as their siblings, something tailored to their favourite things that can give them a little pick-me-up at such a difficult time.”

Any schools wishing to hold their own Go Orange Day or put on fundraising events for the charity can contact Phil Martinez at