Charity fundraising is something to sing and dance about

CAST Academy headteacher Rebecca Elliot with spectators at the flash mob in the Frenchgate Centre
CAST Academy headteacher Rebecca Elliot with spectators at the flash mob in the Frenchgate Centre
  • CAST Academy students performed flash mob in Frenchgate shopping centre
  • Cancer survivor Chris Parker was among 31 singing and dancing performers
  • It is hoped event will raise £2000 for Weston Park Hospital cancer charity

A cancer survivor joined performers in a sponsored flash mob at a Doncaster shopping centre.

Chris Parker, aged 35, beat testicular cancer after being treated at Sheffield’s specialist cancer centre, Weston Park Hospital.

He was joined by 30 other CAST Academy students, who took shoppers at the Frenchgate centre by surprise when they turned part of the upper mall into a dance floor to raise money for the hospital’s cancer charity.

Craig Wassell, CAST Academy teacher, who lost his grandad to cancer, said: “I understand how important events like these are to Weston Park.

“A musical theatre flash mob had never been done at the Frenchgate before, it had always been done by dance troupes.

“Our flash mob was different, because it was dancing and singing.

“It was absolutely brilliant.

“The kids were buzzing from start to finish and it was well received.

“A few people who were watching were getting to be emotional and telling us how great it was.

“I speak for the whole staff at CAST Academy, when I say we couldn’t be prouder of our performers if we tried.

“They are perfect role models for other young children.”

The students, aged between five and 35, were joined by centre mascot Frenchie as they performed a variety of songs on Saturday, between noon and 2pm.

About £250 was raised from bucket collections on the day, and the students have all been sponsored. It is hoped the event will raise £2,000 in total for the Sheffield based charity.

The academy, in Wath-Upon-Dearne, is a family-run performing arts theatre school offering lessons in singing, drama, piano and musical theatre, among other things. It now has almost 100 pupils.

CAST Academy student Adam Hill, aged 10, said: “Being a part of CAST Academy has helped me and my confidence. It’s good I can use that confidence to help make money for a charity that helps families stay together longer”.

To support CAST Academy’s fundraising efforts, visit