Students took time from their GCSE studies to raise money for a vital Cumbrian charity – handing over more than £1,000 on the same day they picked up their exam results.

Year 11 students at The Whitehaven Academy decided to support Blood Bikes Cumbria with sponsored walks and other fund-raising events in May.

After collecting in £1,055, they handed over a cheque to the charity, which provides a free out-of-hours emergency transport service, at the same time as they picked up their exam grades.

Poignantly, they chose Blood Bikes to support one of their friends who lost a close family member linked to the charity.

Student Grace Kerr said: “I picked them because you never know who’s going to end up needing their help. My dad was interested in doing Blood Bikes but sadly passed away, so I wanted to raise some money in his name.”

Her friend Isla Parkes said: “I think it’s a really important cause that needs support from everyone and it’s close to my friend Grace’s family’s heart and I wanted to do what I could to help.”

Tony Rutherford, Chair of Blood Bikes Cumbria, said the money would help keep the charity on the road.

He said: “This donation from the students of The Whitehaven Academy means we will be able to continue to provide a vital lifeline.

“The money will pay for tyres on our larger bikes, the Yamaha FJR 1300. These are the workhorses of our fleet, and we have four of them on the road meeting the demand on our service.

“With the miles we are doing, we go through a set of tyres fairly quickly. This donation helps keep these bikes on the road and safe for our volunteers to ride.

“The students have done an awesome job fund-raising, especially at a time when they were working towards their exams.

“I am in awe of the way they have overcome the difficulties they have faced in the last 18 months with their studies and applaud their generous nature, taking time out of their busy lives to raise these funds. We thank them very much.

“It was a privilege to be invited to the academy on the day that students were receiving their exam results, there was a real buzz about the school.”

The Whitehaven Academy Headteacher Nigel Youngman said: “Young people have had the toughest of 18 months and to see them respond in this way, wanting to help others, is inspiring.

“It was fitting that on the day the focus was on them receiving their results, they once again showed that caring, compassionate nature.”