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Witham Hall school pupils and staff raise £6,000 for Bourne-based Don't Lose Hope at annual fun run




Pupils and staff at Witham Hall school helped raise £6,000 at their annual fun run for Bourne-based mental health charity Don’t Lose Hope.

At the end of April, pupils and staff took part in the annual Witham Hall Fun Run, which saw children in reception to Year 3 run 1k and children in the prep school, Years 4 to 8, run 2.5k.

This year’s event was held in support of Don’t Lose Hope.

Don't Lose Hope's mascot Eddy the Bear, front, with headteacher William Austen, his wife Jossie and pupils at the school. Photo: Witham Hall/Nico Morgan
Don't Lose Hope's mascot Eddy the Bear, front, with headteacher William Austen, his wife Jossie and pupils at the school. Photo: Witham Hall/Nico Morgan

The charity’s mascot Eddy Bear was there, along with headteacher William Austen and his wife Jossie to start the race, cheering pupils to the finish line.

Each child was asked to seek sponsorship for the event from family and friends.

Everyone also embraced the spirit of the event, running in fancy dress and house colours.

Don't Lose Hope's mascot Eddy the Bear races. Photo: Witham Hall/Nico Morgan
Don't Lose Hope's mascot Eddy the Bear races. Photo: Witham Hall/Nico Morgan

Don’t Lose Hope and Eddy Bear are not new to the Witham Hall community. Eddy Bear arrived to huge smiles and excitement in March for his surprise appearance at an outdoor assembly when children returned to school following the most recent lockdown.

Dom and Nicola Brister from Don’t Lose Hope explained how the fun run would support the charity’s professional counselling service for all members of the community from age four upwards, regardless of their financial means.

Witham Hall Pre-Prep also keep Don’t Lose Hope ‘Worry Monsters’ in every classroom, encouraging the younger children to share their concerns and worries. The concept is that they jot down their ‘worry’ or whisper it in the Worry Monster’s ear, and the worry monster ‘eats’ it. Each worry monster has a name and is a reminder to speak up when you need help or are worried.

Mr Austen said: “We are working to normalise conversations about mental health with the children, wearing away any stigma.

There was a friendly air of competitiveness. Photo: Witham Hall/Nico Morgan
There was a friendly air of competitiveness. Photo: Witham Hall/Nico Morgan

“Of course, there is value in the children learning to play a part in the community through events like the fun run, but Eddy Bear’s participation has also been hugely helpful in our efforts to teach the children that we have to consider our mental and emotional wellbeing in the same way we look after our physical health.”

Nicola Brister, founder and CEO of the charity, added: “We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone at Witham Hall, not only for the incredible amount of money raised, but for a really fun afternoon.

“All the funds raised will be going towards providing play therapy and counselling for children and young people.”



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