Two of our amazing teachers, Claire Evans and Cathy Potter, have decided to run the Berlin marathon together to raise money for Place2Be, a fantastic charity which provides mental health support to pupils in schools through counselling and training. Both have spent many years volunteering with young people both prior to and alongside their teaching roles. Whilst studying as a post-grad in Bristol, Claire worked as a freelance consultant, helping young people apply for government funded grants to start up their own enterprises and she also volunteered as a mentor for teenagers in foster care. Cathy has worked with refugees and asylum seekers abroad, as well as teaching English as a foreign language overseas.

how’s training going? what has been the toughest part so far?

Claire: Training is going really well, and it has been a great motivator to run together. We meet every Sunday morning at Draycote Reservoir for our longest run of the week – it’s a relatively flat circuit in a beautiful setting. The hardest aspect so far has been finding the time to fit in all the training!

Cathy: Training is going well and it is so much nicer to train with someone than trying to do it on your own. We do meet every Sunday and the plan is to run from school on Fridays too. I agree with Claire, finding time is the hardest part and then sometimes when you have the time, making yourself leave the house!

have either of you ever run a marathon before or competed in a similar event?

Claire: Cathy is a bit of a pro (not that she’d admit it!) and has run three marathons so far. I have run several half marathons but this will be my first 26.2 miles.

Cathy: Definitely not a pro, but I have done three before and a few half marathons as well. I have done Limassol, Amsterdam and Brighton. I definitely prefer flat marathon courses.

what motivated you to support place2be?

Claire: Throughout our lives, we have both always worked with young people. Place2Be is an amazing charity who provide free counselling support for young people and their families. Against a backdrop of an on-going pandemic and challenging economic times, we hope that our fundraising effort will help provide some valuable support, enabling young people to reach their fullest potential at school and beyond.

Cathy: I have always worked with young people, though not always teenagers, so this seems like a good charity to support. Being a teen was hard enough when I was young but now it is lived online and in real life things have become so much harder. Our teens need all the support they can get to help them reach their potential.

what has the reaction been like from colleagues and pupils in school?

Claire: Fantastic – our colleagues have been very supportive! Bloxham is a great community. Christine McCaffrey (Head of MFL) and her husband plan to fly out to support us on the day of the marathon in Berlin!

Cathy: Colleagues have been great, if a little incredulous!

have you got any plans for fundraising around school?

Claire: Yes – the girls in Wilberforce have arranged a vintage clothing sale. We have a Just Giving page too!

Cathy: We have the House charity as well as the Just Giving page. Depending on how things go, we might do a bake sale to ensure we meet our fundraising target.

We all wish Claire and Cathy the very best of luck with their training. If you would like to donate, please visit their Just Giving page here.