AN ASSISTANT headteacher and caring pupils went the extra mile to support a charity which means a lot to them – and a special little boy.
Mum-of-two Pauline Douglas, assistant head of Redcar Academy, tackled the Great North Run for Kidney Research because her son Matthew, three, suffers from chronic renal failure.
Matthew’s kidney problem was picked up from a routine 20-week scan when Mrs Douglas, 41, was pregnant.
Since he was born, the brave tot has undergone two bladder operations at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary in his short life – including one when he was just five weeks old.
With his kidneys functioning at just 30%, Matthew’s condition is controlled by medication.
And although he’s doing well at the moment, he will eventually need a kidney transplant.
To thank the “fantastic” RVI team who care for him, Mrs Douglas – a former county sprinter – decided to tackle the Great North Run and raised £640.
But students at the Redcar school also wanted to help.
After a suggestion by Year 10 student Dean Froom – whose late grandfather Gordon Nicholas chaired the Kidney Foundation in the North-east but died last year after chronic renal failure – they held a coffee morning and raised a further £115 for Kidney Research.
Dean and his classmates are part of the Excel Club, Prince’s Trust, which is linked to the alternative curriculum for enrichment and allows young people to develop skills such as team work, leadership and problem-solving.
To the admiration of course teacher Jacquie Kelly, they self-managed the coffee morning, including baking cakes and biscuits and organising the room layout for staff and students.
Dean also did a presentation to the Excel Club about Kidney Research, showing how a coffee morning could make a difference.
Mrs Douglas, whose other son is Alec, nine, spent a year training for the Great North Run with the Women’s Network running group in Ingleby Barwick.
She admitted the half marathon was “very much out of my comfort zone”.
And she said she was “very touched” by Dean’s gesture in supporting Kidney Research.
She added: “The young people at Redcar Academy are so giving and supporting of charities, staff and students. They will always go the extra mile to do their best.
“Our school ethos is about promoting a safe and caring learning environment. Our students are part of our extended family and this is exactly what Dean and his classmates have shown. They are a credit to our school.”
Article courtesy of the Evening Gazette.
Principal: Mrs Angela Sweeten
Redcar Academy, Kirkleatham Lane, Redcar, TS10 4AB
Tel: 01642 289211 •
A company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales under company registration number 8281046