Fundraising Story – 6 – James McParland

“I recently participated in the St Andrew’s Hospice Schools 6K and have done so for almost ten years now. As a teacher in Brannock High School in North Lanarkshire, I was delighted to have the opportunity to participate and feel that this is a very important date in our school calendar. As a school, we have always had a high number of pupils participating in the 6K and this is very pleasing, particularly as it is a day when teachers and students really unite to achieve the same aim – of raising much needed funds for a wonderful cause.

As Deputy Head Teacher, I feel that I have a responsibility to encourage the students within my year groups to get involved in the 6K. I do this because I know what they can gain from participating and know that this event is instrumental in maintaining a positive ethos within the school. Furthermore, I am fully aware that our students benefit from taking the time to consider others, from fundraising and also from the exercise – although they may not feel it at the time! As well as this, I like to generate a bit of healthy competition to encourage my year groups to out number the senior school, and try to raise most money.

The 6K also benefits senior pupils who are thinking about life beyond Brannock High School. As well as giving them an insight into the daily operations within St Andrew’s Hospice and the fantastic work that goes on each day, it prompts them to realise that they are also maturing and as a consequence of this, they will be exposed to difficult situations throughout their lives. Furthermore, by fundraising for charity and making a valuable contribution to a wonderful event, they also have an opportunity to write about this in their job applications or personal statements for college or university.

In conclusion, I am delighted that the St Andrew’s Hospice Schools 6K is such an important and eagerly awaited event for our school. I have never considered myself to be a serious runner but each year, upon completing the 6K, you get a real physical and mental lift. My son has also participated since he was 7 years old and now just expects that he will be involved each year – whilst also reminding me that he has beaten me the previous year!

The 6K is a real community event and one that I look forward to being involved in for many years to come!”

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