Northumberland school pupils raise over £4,000 in memory of former teacher

Young runners at an Alnwick school have raised thousands of pounds in memory of a beloved teacher who died two-and-a-half years ago

By Ian Smith
Thursday, 24th June 2021, 2:35 pm

Pupils at St Paul’s RC Primary School wanted to raise funds to help the Macmillan charity and remember teacher Noreen Byrne who died in December 2018.

They used Capt Tom Moore’s 100 Challenge to inspire them to run a total of at least 100 miles to reach a wonderful sponsorship amount of £4,603.

“Our deputy headteacher Rory Cook suggested we take part in the 100 Challenge and the children saw this as an opportunity to recognise Noreen Byrne who worked throughout her battle with cancer before losing her life,” said Eileen Lomax, headteacher.

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St Paul's pupils with a cheque for £4,603 for Macmillan.

Mr Cook and Susan Potts, higher level teaching assistant, set the Year 6 children the challenge of setting up a track, making start and finish lines and creating posters to encourage the rest of the school to show resilience and complete as many laps of the school field in 15 minutes as possible.

Each class from the school, a member of the Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust, had allotted times to run and Mr Cook had the unenviable task of recording everybody’s achievements.

“Sponsor money came flooding in and we were overwhelmed with the generosity of the local community. In total, our primary school raised more than £4,000 for Macmillan. I think our team is outstanding and Mr Cook and Mrs Potts must take the credit for the success of this event,” said Mrs Lomax.

“This year we have redesigned our curriculum which encourages children to respect themselves and each other while developing resilience and confidence. The children admired the resilience Capt Tom demonstrated in his challenge and wanted to celebrate this achievement.

Former teacher Noreen Byrne who died from cancer in December 2018.

“They also saw this as an opportunity to recognise the resilience Mrs Byrne showed after her cancer diagnosis,” she added.

There were also a range of events for the day to commemorate Capt Sir Tom, including finding out facts about him and his achievements.

The 100 Challenge was created in memory of the late Capt SIr Tim Moore who walked 100 laps of his garden in the run-up to his 100th birthday last year to raise millions of pounds for the NHS during lockdown.