The staff and pupils at Darwen Vale High School have been working hard to complete a combined 1000 hours of fitness training over April and May.
They have taken on the challenge to raise money for Derian House Children’s Hospice which they have been supporting for over a decade.
Due to current restrictions, their annual marathon circuit training event cannot take place, for the second year running. This is their primary event and has raised over £30,000 in the past.
Norton Johnston, a teacher at the school, explains how the yearly challenge got started:
“The challenge for Derian House has been going on for around 14 years, a teacher called Wayne Hartley who has been at the school for over 20 years came up with the idea.
“Initially, it was an idea to get children involved who may have behavioural problems, to give them something to put their energy into. Every year they get the children who have been doing the circuit training to do a challenge from the first school bell at 9:15 am till the end bell at 3:15 pm.”
The teachers have had to adapt the challenge this year because of COVID restrictions:
“That is usually what we do but because of COVID restrictions, we can’t so this year, me, Wayne and another teacher called Andrea, put together a few videos of circuit training of different intensities that the pupils could follow and use for the challenge so everyone can put in the hours until collectively we reach 1000 hours for Derian.”
The school was overwhelmed with how quickly money was raised to support Derian and now everyone has got involved in anyway they can:
“We hit £3,000 in the first two weeks so we upped it to £5,000 which we hit very quickly after that. We decided to get all the teachers involved and said to all the pupils that they could participate in the challenge in any way they wanted to help raise as much as possible for Derian.
“Not everyone is able to do circuit training and we wanted everyone to feel welcome to join, we have a guy called Christian who wanted to get involved and he has signed up to do a weight loss challenge and instead of 1000 hours, he is aiming to lose 100 pounds.”
The pupils get the chance to visit Derian House to get a better understanding of the important work the charity does:
“We take the kids to Derian House each year before the challenge so they can see how important the fundraising is and where the money goes. Wayne’s brilliant idea of 1000 hours for Derian has transcended the whole community,
“Everyone has got involved, even our Head Teacher who is such a busy man has managed to put some hours in so it has been such a positive thing for our school, especially considering we started with a goal of £3,000 and we are already past £8,000.”
You can donate here to help the staff and pupils raise as much as possible for Derian House.