Saturday, 18 September 2021
SIX members of staff at Robert Piggott Infant School in Wargrave are to take part in an overnight charity walk for a colleague who has been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Amanda Rutherford, Carole Thompson, Helen Dedman, Marilyn Mahoney, Elizabeth Tawse and Jo Glasby will be taking part in Moonwalk London tomorrow (Saturday), setting off from Clapham Common at 10pm.
They will be joined by Mrs Glasby’s daughter Tasha and friend Pippa Bjorland for the 26.2-mile trek around the capital, which raises money for breast cancer charity Walk the Walk.
A fellow member of staff at the school in Beverley Gardens was recently diagnosed with the disease, which spurred the women into action.
Mrs Rutherford, who teaches years one and two, took part in a half-marathon version of the event 12 years ago. The 48-year-old, who lives in Lower Earley, said: “We have a colleague and friend who is struggling at the moment and we wanted to show support.
“It’s very difficult to be able to do something when they are having treatment. You can’t see them or be with them because we work in an environment with germs so this is our way of showing solidarity.”
“We are all quite close friends and feel useless that we can’t do anything to help her.
“That’s why we started it but we all have friends and family who have suffered with cancer.”
The women have been training since January, often going out in two groups at the weekend and walking up to 22 miles around Wargrave and Twyford.
Mrs Tawse, 52, a teaching assistant who lives in Wargrave, said: “We’ve done a lot of training since January. Our last walk should have been 20 miles but one group did 21 and another did 22.5 as we weren’t very good at calculating!
“Walking in groups is entertaining. Coffee has been useful too!”
This year’s event has a Wild West theme so the women will wear cowboy hats and gingham scarves and they must also wear decorated bras over their tops.
Mrs Tawse said: “The tricky bit is deciding what to decorate our bras with. We are wearing pink tutus and cowboy hats and we will probably use pink fluff and trim.”
Mrs Thompson, 49, a learning support assistant from Hare Hatch, said: “We just want to do it now.”
The women have already raised more than £3,000 thanks to donations from parents of pupils, other clleagues and staff at Robert Piggott Junior School as well as villagers.
Wargrave parish councillor Marion Pope has handed out sponsorship forms in the village. Mrs Rutherford said: “The response has been amazing and really overwhelming. We started off thinking that if we all got £100 each we would be happy.
“Marion should be seen as an honorary member of the team.”
Mrs Dedman, 50, a teaching assistant from Twyford, said: “I had a parent at picking-up time who asked if I had a sponsorship page and immediately took down the details to donate.
“People in the village pull over when we are out walking and say they are really proud of us.”
Meanwhile, pupils have made a sign for the women to take with them.
To sponsor the women, visit www.moonwalklondon2018.everyday
Donations can also be made through the school office by calling 0118 940 2414 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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