Staff and pupils ‘walk Wales’ to raise over £2,600 for lifesaving charity Staff and pupils from Ysgol Penllwyn and Penrhyncoch have raised £2,645 by taking part in this year’s Wales Air Ambulance’s virtual Walk Wales – castle to castle challenge. Walk Wales allowed walkers a chance to set themselves a target based on the number of steps they could achieve over a one-month period from the comfort of their own homes. Each target was the equivalent of a walk between iconic Welsh castles and could be achieved at home, in the garden or during exercise, taking the dog for a walk – and even going up and down the stairs! Headmaster Steffan Davies and teacher Bryn Shepherd set themselves the challenge of walking 50 miles in one day. They were also joined by Bryn’s girlfriend Becca Hughes and the Wales Air Ambulance’s mascot ‘Dell’ the dragon. During the day other teachers joined their colleagues to complete either the 35 or 16miles distances. The pupils from both schools were set the challenge to walk the virtual distance from Dinas Bran Castle to Caergwrle Castle, which is 16 miles and around 36,000 steps. Reflecting on why they took part in Walk Wales, Bryn said: “We were very keen to organise a fundraising event over the half term holidays as it was a great way to keep everyone active and to engage with our parents and communities as it has been so hard to do so with the covid restrictions in schools. “We did a similar event during February half term and had great participation from our school’s families. We were looking to do something similar with a purpose and I happened to see James Hook share the Walk Wales challenge on social media and instantly realised this was just what we were looking for.” It took Steffan, Bryn and Becca 18 hours to complete the 50mile challenge, which was the distance of Carreg Cennen Castle to Pembroke Castle. The children and their parents completed their16 miles over a course of a week. The schools are delighted how successful the event was, Bryn, said: “The support from the school has been excellent with the majority of the parents and children participating. The support during the day was excellent for us teachers with many pupils and parents coming out to support along the way.” In December 2020, the Charity achieved its aim of operating a 24/7 service. Wales now has access to the service’s Emergency Department-standard critical care around the clock and to keep the helicopters in the air, the Charity needs to raise £8 million every year. Headteacher, Steffan Davies, said: “As a school community we were able to raise £2,645. I am extremely proud of the children, staff, parents and all associated with the school for taking part and raising money for a very worthy cause. “It was great to see so many children taking part in the challenge as it promoted the importance of participating in physical activity during the half term period. It was also great to raise awareness of the importance of the Welsh Air Ambulance to the children. “ Dougie Bancroft, the Charity’s community fundraiser coordinator, said: “The pupils, staff and parents have raised an amazing amount for our Charity. They have shown that Walk Wales can be completed as an individual or a team. Everyone at both schools should be extremely proud of their achievements, you’re all helping save lives across Wales. Diolch yn fawr.” There are several ways that the public can continue to support the Wales Air Ambulance. These include online donations, signing up to the Charity’s Lifesaving Lottery or by coming up with their own innovative ways to fundraise at home. Further information can be found via www.walesairambulance.com. Alternatively, a £5 text-message donation can be made by texting the word HELI to 70711.