Students involved in the Kilimanjaro Stair Climb at UTC.

A group of Year 10 students at UTC South Durham participated in a fundraising day on Friday 6th March. The students took part in a virtual stair climb, completing the equivalent number of steps they would need to reach the top of Kilimanjaro. Over the course of the morning, the students worked as a team to complete 2578 flights of stairs (38680 steps) in 2 hours and 35 minutes!

The students were tasked with raising funds as part of their project with Groundwork NE & Cumbria, a federation of charities which works with disadvantaged communities across the UK. In addition to the stair climb, the students also held a bake sale, created a Go Fund Me page, and held an afternoon tea for residents of a local care home, Avon Court. UTC staff were also involved in the activities, helping with the stair climb and volunteering for ‘soak a teacher’! The funds raised will go towards creating a mental, physical and social wellbeing area for students and staff at UTC.

UTC is working closely with Avon Court on the Groundwork project which aims to reduce loneliness in older people. The virtual stair climb was the second part of their project with Groundwork. The first part of the project took place in February when the students visited Avon Court to deliver bird boxes which they had handmade in UTC's engineering hall. The students and Avon Court residents enjoyed afternoon tea together and decorated the bird boxes which have since been put up in the grounds of the nursing home.

On Friday 6th, after the students had completed the stair climb, Avon Court residents visited UTC and had afternoon tea with the students and staff, before touring the building.

Teacher Gareth Saville co-ordinated the Groundwork project with the students. He said: ‘The students completed the stair climb in 2 hours and 35 minutes. It was a fantastic achievement from the students who also hosted a cake sale as well as numerous other challenges around the school. We are so proud of the students who worked incredibly hard on the fundraising activities. We’re looking forward to continuing to work with Groundwork and Avon Court in the future.’