As Covid-19 continues to impact upon the lives of people across the Isle of Man, pupils at The Buchan School were able to enjoy one final activity as a school community before it was announced that all teaching was being moved online.
Nine staff members and 54 pupils aged between nine-11 walked the 10-mile Heritage Trail from Peel to Douglas, for what should have been the first leg of the ‘7 Kingdoms Challenge’; an epic series of fundraising walks across the British Isles organised by Alan Macnair, Head of ICT at The Buchan School.
Mr Macnair was planning to tackle more than 2,000 miles on foot between March and August, covering all seven kingdoms; England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Heaven, Mann and the Sea, to raise money for Rebecca House and UCLH Cancer Fund. For the purpose of the challenge, Heaven would be reached by travelling part of the journey by air, and the Sea by travelling part by ferry.
Unfortunately, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has forced Mr Macnair to put the challenge on hold for now. However, with the support of the pupils, he was able to complete the Manx leg on what turned out to be the last day in school, raising all-important funds for Rebecca House Children’s Hospice. The final total is yet to be calculated, but the walk is expected to raise more than £2,000 for the local charity.
Mr Macnair said: ‘I am incredibly proud of all the pupils who took part. Everyone who started managed to successfully complete the challenge, with it being the furthest many of them have ever walked in a day. We found out during the afternoon that the children's learning would be moving online and this event made for an unexpected but very positive end to their normal school routine.’
Steven Downward from Hospice Isle of Man met the group at the start line and watched as the children embarked on the challenge.
Steven added: ‘It was great to see so many pupils take on this challenge for Rebecca House Children’s Hospice. We are currently facing unprecedented times and to see the children of The Buchan School raising vital funds and thinking of their local children’s hospice was wonderful. Each pupil that took part in the challenge should be very proud of themselves.’