Students and staff at Richmond School and Sixth Form College have walked, cycled and run an amazing 46,697 miles in memory of Dave Clark, the school’s former Deputy Headteacher.  Throughout March, they covered more than five times their original target of 8,000 miles, a spectacular achievement, raising £6,322 to be shared equally between the Great North Air Ambulance Service and to buy new equipment for the school’s fitness suite.

The response to the March Miles challenge has been truly overwhelming, with an impressive 888 students and 71 staff taking part, a huge team effort that engaged all year groups and evoked such wonderful community spirit.  Sophie Bendelow, Community Fundraising Officer at the Great North Air Ambulance Service, said: “We are absolutely overwhelmed by the support we have received from Richmond School and Sixth Form College since the passing of their Deputy Headteacher, Dave Clark. We are sure he would be so proud of the staff and pupils who have joined together as a team to raise vital funds for our charity and get some new equipment for their fitness suite. On behalf of everyone at GNAAS we just want to say a huge thank you to those who took part or donated to this challenge.”

Organised by PE teachers Jack Moore and Helen Southgate, March Miles created some friendly competition. Each tutor group across the school and college submitted their miles, with 9 Dutton racking up the highest total of 2,108 miles. Each student completed an average of 46 miles with the staff average being an impressive 86 miles.

Helen Southgate and Jack Moore said: “We are hugely grateful to absolutely everyone who has supported this challenge. Whilst we know how fantastic our students and staff are at supporting events such as these, we have been completely overwhelmed by just how many people have embraced this initiative for all the reasons we hoped they might; to get active, to take on a personal challenge, to be a part of Team Richmond School and to raise money in memory of Dave Clark, a much loved and greatly missed member of staff.

“Seeing students and staff out and about getting their miles in has been really heart warming and the efforts of everyone throughout March have reflected the amazing team spirit which exists here at Richmond School and Sixth Form College. When we started this challenge we were still in a period of school closure and it was really lovely to have a sense of working together on something at a time when we were having to remain relatively separate from each other.”

The School fitness suite will be refurbished with the money raised and the space will be enhanced to make it accessible for all abilities.  It is hoped that a piece of adaptive equipment will be purchased that every student can benefit from.

Jenna Potter, Headteacher, concluded: “To say we are delighted with what our staff and students have achieved is an understatement.  The generosity of time, effort and donations means so much to us and the Great North Air Ambulance Service. This is something that Dave would have been incredibly proud of, uniting his desire to encourage young people to get outdoors, stay fit and be part of a team whilst doing something for the benefit of others.”

If you would like to donate to the March Miles fundraising, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/richmond-school-march-miles. Current Government guidance will be followed at all times during the challenge.