'Really giving school' raises £1,500 for Cancer Research with Race for Life

Children at Centre Academy East Anglia have raised more than £1,500 for Cancer Research UK

Children at Centre Academy East Anglia have raised more than £1,500 for Cancer Research UK - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Teachers have been left "blown away" after students at a special needs school near Stowmarket raised more than £1,500 for Cancer Research UK by running laps of the field.

Centre Academy East Anglia, an independent special school in Brettenham, organised a Race for Life after a friend of a teacher finished her treatment for breast cancer.

The challenge was a schools' edition of Cancer Research UK's Race for Life, which usually sees hundreds of runners gather for raise cash for the charity in places such as Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds and Colchester.

Children at Centre Academy East Anglia have raised over £1500 for charity after a teacher's friend f

Pupils dressed up in pink in celebration of their achievement - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Teacher Rebecca Widdowson's friend Alexis Clark has finished her treatment after being diagnosed with cancer last year.

She was invited into the school to ring the bell to signal the start of Thursday's challenge.


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Students were tasked with raising cash for Cancer Research UK ahead of the race and an initial target of a relatively modest £500 was set.

Children at Centre Academy East Anglia have raised over £1500 for charity after a teacher's friend f

The Race for Life was held on the school's field on Thursday - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

But the challenge captured the hearts of the youngsters' friends and families - and they have now totalled more than £1,500.

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Students arrived at school on Thursday morning dressed in pink as they prepared to run laps of the field in the afternoon.

Mrs Widdowson said: "My friend, Alexis, was diagnosed with breast cancer last October. I approached the head and said that we wanted to do a race for life to support her.

Rebecca Widdowson with her friend Alexis Clark, who has just finished her cancer treatment. Pictur

Rebecca Widdowson with her friend Alexis Clark, who has just finished her cancer treatment - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

"The children have been so excited for this - they came in today waving their forms.

"I wanted to support Cancer Research UK as they do some really great work. I had fundraised for them before.

"I never envisaged there would be such great support. I'm blown away by it all - I'm speechless.

"I rang my friend to tell her how much we had raised, and she started crying."

Alexis Clark, who has just finished her cancer treatment. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

The students raised the money in support of friend of the school Alexis Clark - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Lisa Gilbert, a special educational needs coordinator at the school, added: "We set a target of raising £500, but we've hit more than £1,500 and it's going up. The children have been amazing.

"It's so lovely for the children to raise so much money. We're a really giving school."

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