Saffron Walden school host fun run to raise cash for Motor Neurone Disease

PUBLISHED: 16:10 24 January 2010 | UPDATED: 22:07 31 May 2010

Sue Westgarth (back left) with fellow teacher jane Manley, Tom Cropper and Hannah Irwin – the Friends’ United’ team which came second in the Sawston Fun Run in May Picture: SUBMITTED

Sue Westgarth (back left) with fellow teacher jane Manley, Tom Cropper and Hannah Irwin - the Friends' United' team which came second in the Sawston Fun Run in May Picture: SUBMITTED

A SAFFRON Walden school is hosting a charity run to raise money for Motor Neurone Disease Association in tribute to a popular staff member. Sue Westgarth, a teacher at independent Friends School, was diagnosed with the disease in October. Despite being f

A SAFFRON Walden school is hosting a charity run to raise money for Motor Neurone Disease Association in tribute to a popular staff member.

Sue Westgarth, a teacher at independent Friends' School, was diagnosed with the disease in October. Despite being forced to take sick leave due to the serious nature of her illness, she is enjoying helping set up the fun run, which takes place on Sunday March 28.

"This is really helping me to keep positive," she said. "My body is going but there is nothing wrong with my brain. This is something I can do. Getting involved makes me feel part of the community again.

"The support I have received has been overwhelming. I've had letters and cards and I just want to do something. Running is always something I loved to do and while I can't run, I can get involved this way."

Ms Westgarth's diagnosis came as a complete shock to the whole school community. Over the years the veteran of 15 marathons has formed successful running clubs and inspired countless children, of all abilities, to run. She is still affectionately known as 'the running teacher'.

For that reason she is determined that the event raises as much money as possible to go towards research into the disease.

"I wanted to set up something for MND because not many people know about it and the charity gets hardly any fundraising. It's lucky if it gets £4m a year for research," she said.

"And I wanted to organise a run for the children at the school. We held one last year and managed to raise £500. I've been persuaded by the parents to go bigger this year to see if we can raise more money." It's certainly going well so far with almost -£2000 already donated to the cause.

The event, which starts at 10.30am, will include three options: a 5km race open to all ages on variable surfaces within the school grounds; Murphy's Race - in recognition of Ms Westcarth's dog, who could regularly be seen on a run her - for children; and Walker's Stroll for those looking for a less strenuous option.

To donate visit www.justgiving.com/greatwestgarthrun or for more information contact Friends School, Mount Pleasant Road, Saffron Walden, Essex CB11 3EB, call 07813 828437 or e-mail greatwestgarthrun@friends.org.uk

You can also pick up an entry form from various locations in the town, at the reception desk at Friends' senior school, and the Saffron Walden Reporter office at 54 High Street. Forms must be returned to the school.

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