Hundreds of Haileybury pupils, staff and Friends came together last Tuesday, 26 February, to participate in a sponsored walk in memory of Fiona Bedford, a former member of staff who died in January after fighting cancer for several months. Ms Bedford had worked at Haileybury for almost 20 years and played a key role in the admissions process and had thus been in contact with almost all the pupils currently at the school and their parents.
More than 800 people joined in the eight-kilometre walk, which took participants around the campus and through the woods. The 13 Houses each chose a fancy dress theme while parents and members of the public chose a House to affiliate themselves with, dressing according to their theme.
Explains Jonty Usborne (K), the Upper Sixth pupil who organised the event: "We walked alongside pupils dressed as Barbie, Wonder Woman, cowgirls and nurses, and that was just the boys! With themes ranging from super heroes and villains to Disney characters to 118-118, we had an interesting crowd."
Sponsorship was raised by everybody in aid of two charities, the Isabel Hospice where Ms Bedford had been cared for over her last few months, and the Beryl Thyer Trust, one of Haileybury’s nominated charities for the year. The trust works to cure Burkitt’s Lymphoma, a malignant childhood cancer, in Africa.
Several members of Ms Bedford’s family were present at the event, including her sister, Elspeth, who addressed the school before officially declaring the walk open.
£15 000 has already been raised and it is hoped this figure will reach £20 000.
Lisa Seccombe, Head of Fundraising and Public Relations at Isabel Hospice, says: "Haileybury extends huge support to Isabel Hospice for which we are very grateful. We need to raise £3.4m per annum and for every penny raised, at least 89p in the £1 goes on patient care. We would like to extend our sympathies to Fiona’s family and thank them for their tremendous fundraising efforts for Isabel Hospice at what is a very difficult time."