Daniel Hunter, a reception teacher at St Paul’s CE Primary School, has taken on a challenge to cycle 2,021 miles throughout the year. His aim is to raise £2,021 which will be donated back to his school in aid of the children.
When the country went into a national lockdown, schools were forced to shut. Only key workers were able to send their children to school. Mr Hunter explained that it had been tough on the children as schools provide stability for them.
“We provide stability for a lot of our children. We are not just there as a school to give them an education. We’re there to provide love, warmth and we’re also there to educate them on life, on how to build friendships, socialise (and) how to interact”
Mr Hunter’s journey began on January 1st, 2021, he decided it was time to give back to the children as the pandemic has been tough on them.
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Hunter said “I’m always inspired with anybody who raises money, whether it’s a sponsored walk, whether it’s a 10K, whether it’s a hike, (or) a parachute jump”
“I wanted to do something that was a challenge. I had just felt that with everything that had gone on in the last year, it was the right time to raise some money to give back to the children. Especially when it was the first lockdown.”
Mr Hunter explained that it is not just the school closure that had been hard on the pupils. When returning to school, specifically for key workers it was difficult on younger children that were not allowed to socialise with their friends. Hunter explained:
“We have a nursery provision at our school, so some of those children were three years old. That was when nobody knew nothing and then we were being told that those kids had to social distance, they weren’t allowed near anybody.”
“So, we were having three-year-olds in school just sat at a table. They had activities to do and were kept occupied, but as staff were being advised to keep a social distance. They didn’t understand.”
When schools were closed on 20th March 2020, only key workers were able to send their children into school. Mr Hunter expressed that the children went from being allowed to play with friends to having to sit alone.
“One day they were in school with their friends with 20 odd other children, and then all of a sudden they sat in the hall in a little area they can’t move out of.”
“A lot of it was very sad to see because it was something new to absolutely everybody”
With the support of the community, teachers and parents the Mr Hunter has already raised £1689. With only 800 miles left to cycle. He said: “I was surprised with the support that came through so quickly”
“The main thing is when you’re a teacher and when you work in a school, people forget that every decision you make is for the children.”
Mr Hunter is planning on spending any donated money on the children, he hopes to be able to plan educational activities that give the children a well deserved reward.
He has even had donations from a local gym, Fusion Crossfit based in Leigh. Mr Hunter explained that he had been giving classes at the gym when they approached him.
“I was delivering fitness classes and anybody that wanted to take part was making a donation to this cause rather than paying the gym”
“The gym had said to me that they didn’t want any money, but if they could donate towards my cause that is all they asked for”
Mr Hunter is aiming to be finished by September/October. He can then start planning the activities for the children at St Pauls CE Primary School.