Primary school pupils from St Mary's pose in Pudsey ears, combined with their maroon and grey school uniform

Bolton school raises hundreds for BBC star’s fundraising challenge

Friday 24th November 2023

A Bolton primary school has raised hundreds of pounds for charity in support of a famous former pupil who returned to town on a mammoth fundraising mission.

Pupils of St Mary’s RC Primary School in Horwich have been hitting the headlines as they put their best foot forward to help BBC Radio 2 presenter Vernon Kay raise funds for Children in Need.

This month, the radio and television star took on an incredible 115-mile challenge, raising over £6 million pounds for the charity.

But the former All Star Family Fortunes presenter was not without support as pupils from St Mary’s RC Primary School embarked on their own fundraising challenge to help Vernon on his quest.

Dominique Hayes, headteacher at St Mary’s Primary School in Horwich, said: “The children were so proud that a past pupil was taking on such a challenge that they wanted to support him and get involved.

“The Caritas Ambassadors and Sports Leaders came up with the idea of every child in school trying to run a mile a day and bringing in donations on the Friday of Children In Need.

“Our St Mary’s mile track takes eight laps to complete, so the younger children were adding up the laps every day while our older ones were running with a mile with a smile.”

Vernon Kay stands with headteacher Dominique and two students. The pupils hold banners with well wishes to Vernon and their school banner

Thanks to the dedicated efforts of the students, the school raised a fantastic £300 pounds to contribute to Vernon’s overall total, in addition to supporting him with a wave of well wishes.

Dominique continued: “On Wednesday, the school recorded a message for Vernon on the BBC Radio 2 Scott Mills show, which was also played on BBC North West tonight.

“On Friday, we met Vernon as he ran through his old High School, St Joseph’s RC.  He looked exhausted but had time for everyone and spoke so kindly to our children thanking them for their fundraising.”

Students of both schools gathered outside the Catholic High School in Horwich, prepped with colourful banners and rapturous applause to greet Vernon as he passed by on his final leg of the journey, which ended at Bolton Wanderer’s Toughsheet Community Stadium.

Mrs Flanagan, teaching assistant and multimedia, marketing, and events administrator at St Joseph’s High School in Horwich, told Bolton News: “We have a motto here at St Joseph’s, which says that once you’re part of our school family: it’s once a Joey, always a Joey. No matter what you’re doing, no matter where you are in the world, we’re always there for you.

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