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Running proves a novel way to build Wendell Park’s new library

More than 100 parents, carers and teachers from Wendell Park primary in Shepherds Bush stretched their legs to raise money for a new school library.

The sponsored runners and walkers descended on Gunnersbury Park on Saturday morning (19 November) and braved the two-degree morning air to make their way around the course.

Event organiser Amanda Pye, parent of Wendell Park pupil Tallulah, 10, said: “Despite the temperature, luckily it was dry and bright. I am most grateful that everyone turned up braved the cold!”

By the morning of the race, more than £2,000 had been pledged. The money will go towards refurbishing and expanding the collection of books in the school’s library.

Elena Hough, deputy headteacher at Wendell Park Primary who completed the race with her five-year-old son, said: “It was a fabulous event and I was very proud to see so many wonderful children, parents and teachers take part.”

While Francesca Young, mum to pupils Oscar and Caitlin (aged 6), said: “What an amazing day out! It was so great to see a huge crowd from Wendell Park. What a way to blow out the cobwebs and raise money for our school – just at a time when the Poet Laureate is calling for more investment in libraries.”

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Image caption: Image 2: Wendell Park teachers Gillian McCormick and Nick Morgan

New library

Wendell Park are keen to modernise the library and expand the number of books on offer for pupils. “We found a book from 1972 in the library, which is older than all of the teachers,” said the school’s executive headteacher, Julie Howarth.

“The library is such an important part of the school and fosters childrens’ imagination, creativity and the love of learning. A refurbishment will give the library a new lease of life.”

Parents agree. As they hit the finish line in Gunnersbury Park, Rachel Herve and her husband Anthony, said: “Our boys Spike and Jules loved the run. Raising such a huge amount of money for their school was just an added bonus!”

And Richard Griffiths – who ran with his wife Fiona, their three children Jonjo (aged two), Thea (five) Huw (seven) and their dog – said: “There is nothing better than a run on a glorious winter’s morning while raising money for the school.”

Making it happen

Members of the Gunnersbury Park ParkRun group volunteered as marshalls, while logistics company DSV Air and Sea UK donated water, snacks and bags for the runners.

Donate to the school’s new library or visit the Wendell Park primary website.

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Image caption: Image 3: The start line in Gunnersbury Park
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Image caption: Image 4: The race winner Jonathan Croft (in green top)