SADDLEWORTH School might not have been able to step out on its annual sponsored walk to Dovestone – but instead they stepped up to a variety of other fundraising challenges.
The coronavirus pandemic meant pupils and staff could not pull on their trainers this July for the traditional ‘Walk the Walk’ from the school in Uppermill to the beauty spot in Greenfield.
So the ‘Vision of Hope’ initiative was launched by the school to continue raising money for Dr Kershaw’s Hospice or a charity of the participant’s choice.
Pupils, staff and their families got busy walking, cycling, running, creating artwork and even reading a book in a day for team or individual challenges throughout July.
More than £1,037 was raised for the Royton-based hospice, which provides specialist palliative care for adults with life-limiting illnesses, as well as money for other causes.
A letter from outgoing headteacher Dave Watson and executive headteacher Matthew Milburn encouraged staff, pupils and their families to get involved and show their community spirit after lockdown.
They wrote: “Even though a whole school Walk the Walk will not take place this year, we would like to invite you to complete a challenge to mark our community’s collective resilience to the Covid-19 lockdown.
“Our spirit is not broken; it’s just spent some time indoors recently! This is our opportunity to demonstrate to each other that our community spirit is still alive and kicking.”
Some of the challenges undertaken included walking to Hartshead Pike in Mossley, cycling the length of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal, creating artwork, learning a piece of music or developing a new skill.
Claire Thompson, from the school’s Community and Operations Team, added: “It has been great for the well-being of our young people and has given families the opportunity to explore the local area and experience the beautiful countryside we live in.
“Some have explored Saddleworth with local walks to Pots and Pans, Dovestone, Hartshead Pike and some have been further walking up Malham Cove, cycling the Longdendale trail and walking to Reddish Vale.
“Other pupils have chosen to fundraise for their own cause and have raised money doing various things such as making bookmarks and creating remembrance poppy seed packs and selling them.
“Thank you so much and well done to everyone who has taken part in our challenge and to anyone who has made a donation.”
You can support Saddleworth’s School Vision of Hope Challenge by making a donation to Dr Kershaw’s Hospice: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/saddleworth-school