Harpenden school helps heroes through fundraising day

THE LURE of curry got staff taking part in a run and students facing leadership challenges and having a go at paintball at a Harpenden school recently.

St George’s School in Sun Lane raised over �15,000 when it took part in Big Curry Day, the national event for the Soldier Charity.

The school has been taking part for three years and devotes a day to raise money for the charity which supports injured service personnel and their families. This year the theme was 1928, the number of servicemen and women killed or wounded in the conflict in Afghanistan up to the end of last year.

The largest amount of money was raised by 16 staff who took part in a 19.28km Great Curry Run. They had trained during the winter months and were led by deputy head Paddy Storrie who recently underwent a hip replacement operation.

They raised �10,000 in sponsorship from parents and pupils and during the afternoon more than 40 staff walked the same route with friends and their dogs.

Pupils took part in a range of activities including a 1,928 metre no-fun run, army style PE, an army combat fitness test, a leadership challenge course and taking part in a paintball range set up on the school field. And to mark the day, over 1,000 curry lunches were served by the catering department with �1 from each dinner going to the charity.

Head Norman Hoare praised the achievements of staff and pupils and described their commitment to raising funds for the bereaved, injured and families of service personnel as amazing.

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He added: “Pupils enjoyed the party atmosphere once lessons had finished at noon. The staff who ran and walked the 19.28 kilometres leave me speechless – I have seen their blisters and heard their cries of exhaustion and tiredness. But as they told me theirs’ is nothing to the sacrifice others make for their country and us. That is what the day was all about.”

n Saving an area from environmental catastrophe won three St George’s students individual awards and the area shield at a local Rotary Technology 2011 Challenge.

Chris Grassick, Harry Merick and Kathryn Godfrey Evans, all aged 17 and studying A-level design, used their skills to design a crane to safely transport toxic waste from a train wreckage.