PICTURES: Pole to Pole challenge

Durrington High School is developing a new focus to bring the community together.

A global challenge covering 12,474km launched the scheme in style, bringing together staff, students, their families and friends.

The English department and deputy head teacher Chris Woodcock

The English department and deputy head teacher Chris Woodcock

The new thinking is bring the school community closer together and promote positive wellbeing, while raising money for charity.

Chris Woodcock, deputy head teacher, explained: “This year at Durrington High School, we are trying to do things a little differently.

“With an increased focus on being one community, we are excited to create more opportunities for our entire school to work together to make a tangible difference.

“We endeavour to raise awareness for causes close to our hearts whilst making positive changes to influence issues that affect all of us within the community, positive wellbeing.”

The Pole to Pole challenge called for dedication and positivity as everyone worked together to walk, jog or run the linear distance between the North and South Poles in five days.

By the end, the final distance covered was 15,795km, some 3,321km more than the target, helping to raise more than £700 for Young Minds Trust.

Mr Woodcock said: “The aim of this challenge was not only to bring our community closer together and promote positive wellbeing amongst ourselves but was also to raise money for Young Minds, a charity supporting the mental health of children and young people nationwide.

“There are increasing concerns being raised about the mental health of young people. It is now estimated that one in ten young people have some form of diagnosable mental health concern. At Durrington, we believe our role as a school community has never been more important in supporting young people whether this be academically or otherwise.”

Students and staff were able to access a kilometre track before school, at break and lunch, and after school to contribute towards the target. Parents, carers, siblings and friends then joined them on day five for a final push.

Mr Woodcock said: “So many people had huge smiles on their faces, showing commitment, perseverance and pride in what they were doing.

“A few special mentions of dedication must be made to the staff and students who were especially inspiring, motivating and encouraging of others whilst covering spectacular distances.”

The PE department was very competitive, with staff out running most mornings, and year-nine student Jenson Price completed more than 100km on his own.

Mr Woodcock said: “We could not be prouder of what we have achieved and hope that the new relationships and increased sense of togetherness we have gained during this challenge will be long lasting.”

Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/durrington-high-school-youngminds to make a donation.