Hope Valley students in final stretch of fundraising challenge to go 'around the world' in 80 days
Staff and students at a Peak District school are closing in on the finish line as they attempt to travel ‘around the world’ in 80 days to raise vital funds.
Hope Valley College students set out to walk, run or bike 40,075 kilometres in mid-February and are racing to complete the distance by Tuesday, May 4.
It works out at an average 501km per day, divided between 570 students plus staff, including headteacher Gaynor Jones, who have been adding at least 35 km every week.
As of April 26, they had logged around 27,300km altogether, and have already raised more than £2,000.
Matt Heason, a member of the school’s Parents, Teachers and Friends Association, said: “It will be a big task to hit the target, but we’re hoping the money raised will give the students a bit of extra incentive this week.
“Lots of them will have a record of their steps over the 80 days but haven’t logged them yet. If they do, I think we’ll smash it. Some have been really committed all the way through, I think one student has done about 2,000km on his bike.”
The challenge was created to make up for the loss of the Hope Valley Adventure Film Festival. The event normally brings in about £5,000 a year to the school, and is expected to return next year after a Covid-enforced cancellation.
Matt said: “It’s really inspired by fundraising the kids already did during the first lockdown. Children in Grindleford ran the equivalent of Land’s End to John o’ Groats to support a local foodbank, and those in Eyam cycled the Tour de France to fund a bike track in the village.”
Money raised from the round the world challenge will be split between refurbishment works on the school sports hall, and its annual heart screening programme for year 11 students.
The school partnered with the Cardiac Risk In The Young (CRY) in memory of 15-year-old student Charlie Craig, who suffered a fatal heart attack in 2017.
Matt said: “There is a significant cost attached to heart screening so we raise money for it every year. It’s important that any defects are detected early so something can be done about them.”
To support the students with a donation to their total, go to https://justgiving.com/fundraising/hvcaroundtheworld80.