A life to remember
by Ronni Lamont
Suitable for Key Stage 3
To reflect on the remarkable achievements of Stephen Sutton, who died, aged 19, on 14May 2014.
Preparation and materials
- Download pictures of Stephen from a news site such as
- Stephen’s own story, told by Stephen himself can be accessed through
- It was announced on 14 May that Stephen Sutton had died from bowel cancer. He was just 19 and had been living with the disease for four years.
- You might have heard of Stephen; in fact, you might have given money to the Teenage Cancer Trust after hearing about him.
Ask if any students have donated to the charity.
Show part of the Stephen’s Story film.
- I wonder what you would do if you were told you were going to die in just a few years’ time?
Who can tell me what Stephen did?
– He started raising money for charity. His original target was £10,000, which is a lot of money but, on the day he died, that sum had risen to £3.2 million! This is the largest single donation that anyone has ever given to this charity.
– He set himself a ‘bucket list’ – things he wanted to do before he died. These included skydiving, playing the drums on stage in front of 90,000 people at Wembley Stadium before a Uefa Champions League match last May. He also hugged an elephant and got a tattoo.
– Various celebrities came on board with the fund-raising, and his Facebook page reached over 120,000 people.
Although his family are sad that Stephen died and are grieving for him, the legacy he has left behind is quite remarkable for a teenaged boy.
- Take a few moments to ask yourself what you would do if you were told you were going to die soon.
- And what would you include on a bucket list?
Take a few suggestions for bucket-list ideas.
Time for reflection
If any of us is ever in Stephen’s position, with just a few years to live, I wonder what sort of legacy we’d choose to leave behind.
What we can do today to honour Stephen?
How can we start working – as individuals and as a community – on our legacy to the world?
Light a candle and pause.
I’m going to use these words as a prayer. You might like to listen to them and say ‘Amen’ if you agree.
As we think of Stephen Sutton, we honour all that he achieved.
We’re thankful for the effect that his life has had on so many people,
and the legacy that he leaves behind,
both of money raised to help other teenagers with cancer
and the story of what he achieved.
May I also leave such a legacy.
And today, we take a moment to think of all those people who are grieving for the loss of a loved one, especially if that person was their child.
May they find peace and hope.
Play something reflective as the students leave, such as ‘Fragile’ by Sting, widely available to download.