Thumbs up for inspirational ‘selfie’ fundraiser Stephen Sutton

FUNDRAISER ... teenage cancer victim Stephen Sutton raised millions for charity.
FUNDRAISER ... teenage cancer victim Stephen Sutton raised millions for charity.

INSPIRATIONAL teenage cancer victim Stephen Sutton is to be honoured by a fundraising day in South Tyneside next week – and people can help by putting themselves in the picture.

A photo booth is being installed at South Tyneside College to encourage people to pop in and have a “selfie” taken and to make a donation to Teenage Cancer Trust.

Stephen, 19, of Burntwood, Staffordshire, raised about £3.2m for the charity before his death on May 14, after a four-year cancer battle – a total that now stands at almost £4m.

Shortly after finding out his disease was terminal, Stephen created a Facebook page called “Stephen’s Story”.

On it, he outlined a bucket list of 46 things he wanted to achieve – at the top of that was to raise £10,000 for Teenage Cancer Trust – a goal he quickly achieved.

In his final selfie, Stephen made a thumbs-up gesture, which went viral and won support from Prime Minister David Cameron and celebrities including Steve Coogan, Ricky Gervais and Benedict Cumberbatch, as well as comedians Chris Ramsey and Jason Manford.

The photo booth will be open from 11am to 7pm on Tuesday, in the foyer of the college’s Westoe campus in St George’s Avenue, South Shields.

It has been provided by Newcastle-based Snaparazzi and comes with props. For a small donation, those taking part can keep their photos.

Alison Maynard, principal professional and vocational college lead, said she hoped hundreds of pounds would be raised.

She said: “The public can make a big impact by taking part and making a donation, no matter how small.

“Millions of people have been touched by Stephen’s story and the way he bravely fought cancer, and raised millions of pounds during that most heartbreaking battle.

“It’s quite incredible that so many people have given to his campaign. I hope we can raise a little more.

“Everyone is welcome to come along and have a ‘selfie’ taken inside the booth. They can pop in with their friends and family if they want. All we ask is that a small donation is made as a way of paying their respects to Stephen.”

Ross Kane, from Snaparazzi, added: “This is a great way to raise money for an excellent cause and to honour an inspiring young man who did so much for Teenage Cancer Trust.”

Stephen was diagnosed with bowel cancer when he was just 15, and was told his disease had become terminal in December 2012.

His funeral takes place tomorrow at Lichfield Cathedral, where a celebratory “thumbs-up” will take place at 11am instead of a traditional minute’s silence.

Twitter @shieldsgazpaul