2nd March 2021 — St. Hilary’s School in Godalming was excited to launch the MND Schools’ Challenge recently.
This challenge is inspired by Paul Jameson, a former parent of the school and father of Rosie, who now works at St. Hilary’s.
In 2017, Paul was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND).
In response to this diagnosis, Paul has spent three years raising money for the MND Association in a number of ways, including climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and playing a game of tennis at the summit, which was a world record of the highest-ever altitude game of tennis.
Paul has continued to inspire those around him and has raised over £150,000, which has led to him being awarded a British Empire Medal.
Motivated by Paul’s story; his courage, resilience and determination, the St. Hilary’s community decided to take on their own challenge.
Pupils aged from just two to eleven years-old, parents, staff and the wider community joined together with one common goal: to collectively climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
In fact, 274,526 steps were taken during the day, the equivalent height of Mount Kilimanjaro nearly nine times over!
The school is thrilled that over £11,000 to date has been raised for the MND Association Charity.
However, this is just the beginning.
St Hilary’s is now passing the challenge on to other schools across the country and overseas, in the style of the Ice Bucket Challenge, to encourage others to get involved with this fabulous initiative.
Other schools are encouraged to set their own challenge or take on a similar one.
Through taking part, pupils' self-awareness has increased and the challenge has created a platform for pupils to feel confident to express themselves, discuss their feelings and openly talk about worries and concerns.
Furthermore, the children have developed a sense of purpose.
Children have seen the impact that messages of hope and support can empower others as well as learning that their actions of kindness, tolerance, respect and inclusivity, is positive for their mental well-being as well as that of their friends and loved ones.
Paul, continues to inspire, through his bravery and determination, to be the best and do the best he can each and every day.
Likewise, the children have learnt to do their ‘personal best,’ show ‘true grit’ and have high aspirations.
Paul’s outlook on life is 'you’ve got one life, live it!'
If you are a school, club or community that would like to become involved with the challenge, please visit the MND Schools’ Challenge website.