A group of pupils at Monmouth School for Boys has used pedal power to raise more than £1,000 for a charity close to their hearts.
The pupils in Severn House, a day house at the school, cycled a combined tally of 1,264 kilometres in memory of their friend, Tom Walker.
The boys had initially hoped to cycle 354km – the distance of the River Severn.
However, the boys hit top gear in an outstanding effort and cycled three-and-a-half times their original target.
The charity challenge had been put forward by Oliver Edwards and Toby Day rode the furthest distance for the boys while teacher, Mr Kieran Chaplin, also excelled.
The Housemaster of Severn House, Mrs Lydia Livingston, said: “Congratulations to the Severn House boys for the phenomenal distances they rode.
“The boys wanted to raise money for Cancer Research Wales in memory of Tom who supported this charity before losing his life to acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).
“Several of the boys who cycled were friends with Tom at our school and wanted to continue his support for those who are facing cancer.”
She added: “I’m so proud of the boys for coming up with the idea in their efforts to remember Tom and creating what will now be a yearly event, whether we swim, cycle, row or run the River Severn and back.”
Mrs Livingston thanked all those who donated so generously, allowing the boys to meet their £1,000 target, raising £1,009.”
Tom, a quiet, considerate and caring boy, was a pupil at Monmouth, when he died from AML, a rare but aggressive form of cancer, aged just 13, in June 2018.
Tom’s sisters, Holly, 14 and Emily, 12, have been at the forefront of a wonderful community campaign which has raised more than £147,000 to date, in his memory.
The first recipient of the Tom Walker Cancer Research Wales PhD Studentship for Acute Myeloid Leukaemia Research is due to start at work at the Cardiff University School of Medicine, based at the University Hospital of Wales, in January.
Meanwhile, the Walker family has continued to raise money and awareness for Tom’s fund, selling cards and a new calendar from their social media accounts.
The 2021 calendars contain a host of outstanding photographs, which have been chosen from over 700 entries; all taken by students and staff of Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools with the winners being selected by Tom’s grandfather.
Matt Peake, Head of Art at Monmouth School for Boys, has been heavily involved in co-ordinating the project and believes the calendars would make a lovely gift. The calendars are now available for a minimum donation of £5 each, and can be ordered by e-mailing: email@example.com