Two schools in Chelsea are virtually walking or cycling from Sloane Square to Christchurch in New Zealand and back to raise money for their Covid catch-up programme.
Christ Church & Holy Trinity originally aimed to walk the 14,000 miles to Christchurch in the month of March have already reached over 13,500 miles, so decided to add in the return trip.
The school’s fundraising target was £14,000 by the end of the month and all money raised will be used to fund curricular subjects after school, trips for every class during summertime and to fund artists and other people coming to the school.
To get as many people involved in the fundraiser as possible, one of the parents suggested that the school could do it virtually, to maintain social distancing rules since people currently cannot travel.
Avis Hawkins, the schools’ headteacher, said: “It is so exciting. They love it, adults as well as children, they’ve all got really involved. The children are very excited by the recording of the kilometres that they have walked or cycled, and it is a healthy competition between parents and children.
“The children are loving it as they can see on the map how far they have walked and see which parts of the world they have travelled to. It has been really good for geography as they are really looking at the world map carefully.
“It started with such a small idea and actually it seems to get people involved on lots of different levels. There’s also the sense of understanding how far a kilometre is and when you’ve walked a kilometre. The children are understanding distance and the sense of contributing to a bigger cause.
“When we first set up, we weren’t expecting so many parents and grandparents to join us, but we have over 200 people tracking their miles and uploading it into our website.”
To step up the challenge, the two Chelsea schools, who have students with family members that live in New Zealand, will try to have a Zoom meeting at the place that they have reached in Christchurch.
According to Hawkins, even other schools are putting their miles into this fundraiser to help.
She also urged people to get involved and to donate if they can.
So far Christ Church & Holy Trinity have raised almost £6,800, 48% of their target.