Priory School staff in Southsea look to go the extra mile for Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust

STAFF at Priory School are looking to cover a combined distance of 12,000km to raise money for Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust.

By Neil Fatkin
Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 4:24 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 4:27 pm

The Move it March fundraiser is a way for staff at the school to say thank you to the NHS for their selfless work throughout the pandemic.

Teaching and support staff have set their own running, walking, cycling and kayaking challenges to cover an accumulative distance the equivalent of 500 laps of Portsea Island.

Headteacher Stewart Vaughan, who is halfway through his own 50-mile running challenge, said: ‘The NHS have had an extraordinarily difficult 12 months and they are certainly not out of it yet. While we may have stopped our weekly clap, as a school we just wanted to show that we are still thinking about them.’

Kat Millmore-Davies (front) and Hesta Dalton doing a night walk on Southsea seafront.

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While no official target has been set, the school hopes to use the money raised to purchase items most needed to support the work of the dedicated staff.

Mr Vaughan added: ‘We have been in touch with the hospitals to find out what staff need and want. One of the things doctors and nurses have asked for is ice creams and ice lollies.

‘Working in an intensive care unit in PPE can be very hot, and staff have said one of the things they would most look forward to when finishing a shift is being able to sit down and have a cooling ice cream.’

Teacher Rob Andrew doing his cycling challenge.

As well as raising vital funds, staff at the school also wanted to take part in the initiative as collective way to support their own physical and mental wellbeing.

Mr Vaughan said: ‘With the current restrictions and social distancing in place we wanted to do something collaboratively to help bring us as a staff closer together. After a long and difficult winter we also wanted to set a challenge to help get us moving and active again.

‘This has been a stressful period for teachers and there’s obviously a clear link between physical and mental health.’

Priory School headteacher Stewart Vaughan is doing his own 50 mile running challenge to help raise money for Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust. Picture: Habibur Rahman

One member of staff taking part is careers teacher Kat Millmore-Davies who said: ‘I’ve loved being involved in Move it March. It's such a great idea to encourage us to be healthier and more active whilst raising money for a wonderful cause.

‘The NHS staff are working so hard at the moment and this is a way we can give back as a school community. I’ve been tracking my steps every day on my smart-watch and its a great way to challenge yourself to keep doing more and going further.

‘I’m so proud of our staff for stepping up and joining in as a team. We are hoping to raise lots of money to support the wellbeing of local NHS staff.’

Later this month the school also hopes to get the children involved in their own Move it March challenge to raise money for St Margaret’s Food Bank.

Go to the school’s JustGiving page to support the cause.

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