More than 150 students and staff at Cramlington Learning Village have taken part in a run to raise funds for two charities, including one which has a special connection with the school.
Cancer Research UK and Jessica’s Sarcoma Awareness – which was set up by a student as she fought against an extremely rare form of cancer – will share the money.
“The support from the school is amazing when you consider that most of the people taking part didn’t even know Jess,” said her father Trevor Robson.
After Jessica died in May 2014, aged just 18, her sister and parents continued to help other families affected by cancer.
They have been supported by a number of local businesses, individuals and Jessica’s former school – and collected well over £100,000.
This, the fourth fund-raising run at Cramlington Learning Village, saw 156 competitors of all abilities run, walk and hop the three mile course.
First across the line was Year 11 student Taylor Walton, who is a friend of Jessica’s cousin, in a time of 15 minutes. Josh Fiddaman, from Year 10, followed, and the first girl to finish was his sister Abi, who is in Year 7.
PE and Maths teacher Ben Christensen – who joined the school in September and, when not at work, captains Ashington Football Club – led home the staff and, last but not least, was the three-legged team of Year 10 students Chloe Davies and Jasmine Clough. “We were aware of the struggles Jessica had to cope with,” said Chloe. “She went through a lot.”
The event was organised by Year 9 Learning Manager Dave Paterson, who taught Jessica, and last month was one of 23 runners who completed the Great North Run on behalf of her charity.
“I am immensely grateful to everybody who took part,” he said. “Jessica would have been bursting with pride.”
The run was started by her parents who, at the finish, presented all runners with a special medal.
Jessica’s mum Julie said: “The school was so good to Jessica and we are just delighted at the support it continues to provide in her name.”
Money from the charity is being used to support families in a variety of ways: from providing presents for children in hospital at Christmas and Easter to funding a lodge to provide respite care.