CANCER patients across Lancashire are to benefit from state-of-the-art robotic surgical equipment thanks to the fundraising efforts of youngsters at a Blackburn School.

Year 10 pupils at Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School (TIGHS) used the school's annual enterprise week to set up retail businesses that would donate all their profits to the Rosemere Cancer Foundation.

The teenagers raised £5,309 from an initial investment of £700 from the school.

There were 12 teams of up to 10 pupils competing against one another to raise the most money with each using an initial investment of £50 to start their businesses.

The youngsters sold different products including cake jars, American candy and mocktails, to stylish wall art and candles while learning about marketing, finance and quality control and pitching their ideas to a Dragon’s Den style panel.

Bashira Patel, director of futures at TIGHS, co-ordinated the Enterprise Week activities.

She said: “Our enterprise week was an all-round fantastic experience for our pupils.

“They fully embraced the fundraising challenge, and we were fortunate to have a strong line-up of guest speakers who really inspired them.

“Our pupils were enthusiastic and confident throughout the week’s activities, and developed a range of skills such as problem-solving, communication, entrepreneurship and managing budgets.

“It’s wonderful that we were able to raise such a large sum for a very deserving charity through the activity too.”

Year 10 pupil Shaziya Ali said: “Enterprise week was a unique learning experience and so much fun.

“We received a profound insight into the business world through inspirational guest speakers who are successful business men and women in our local community.

“It was particularly thought-provoking to hear their stories and to realise and recognise that many entrepreneurs have humble beginnings and the sky is our limit if we put our mind to things.”

Daniel Hill, Rosemere Cancer Foundation’s head of fundraising, who sat on the Dragons’ Den style panel, said: “It was an honour and pleasure to play a small part in what was a wonderful exercise.

"I was extremely impressed by the girls’ effort, determination and passion to succeed and raise as much money as possible for Rosemere.

“We are truly grateful for TIGHS’ support.

“The money raised will make a huge difference to local cancer patients for many years to come by helping to ensure the latest generation DaVinci Xi robot stays at the Rosemere Cancer Centre at Royal Preston Hospital.

“Each and every group had obviously worked extremely hard and it was difficult to choose one stand out winner, as they were all winners in my eyes.”