More than a dozen members of staff from a special needs school in Aberdeenshire are taking on the Beast Race to fundraise for outdoor equipment.
On Saturday 16 members of staff from Carronhill School will be taking on the brutal Beast Race in Banchory.
They will be tackling muddy obstacles like the beast bog, a log drag and a climbing wall to raise funds for the school’s outdoor area.
Carronhill School in Stonehaven is for children with complex needs from the age of five to 18.
Head teacher John Forrester explained that the pupils at the school thrive outside and need interesting outdoor spaces.
He said: “We are hoping to improve and update our outdoor space and we’re trying to create a space which a lot of children will enjoy and get a lot out of.”
The team set a target of £10,000 on their GoFundMe page to buy new equipment including a climbing frame and to enhance the outdoor learning space for the children.
Mr Forrester explained that the team have received an incredible response from local businesses and wellwishers
The head teacher said: “We just want to thank everybody for all their generous contributions.
“We get a lot of support at the school anyway, but this is fantastic. Everyone has pitched in far and wide, all our staff have gone out to their families and their friends and the different communities around Stonehaven.
“Everyone’s been willing and happy to contribute and I think that’s really spurred the team on.”
Mr Forrester will be running the 10k obstacle race alongside his staff on Saturday. Although he said they are all excited they are feeling slightly apprehensive ahead of the challenge.
He added: “As a team we’ll get ourselves through it.”
Challenge is a ‘good staff motivator’
Pupil support assistant Hannah Anderson helped organise the team.
She said they chose to take on the Beast Race because it’s local and “a bit of fun”.
“It’s quite a good staff motivator because it’s been a tough year for everyone in education,” Miss Anderson explained. “We’ve been training for it – we’ve been doing a staff bootcamp every Wednesday and step challenges to try and motivate one another to see who can get the most steps throughout the week.
“We’ve also been going to trampoline fitness classes, so we’ve been doing a lot to try and be as fit as we possibly can.”
The pupil support assistant explained that there are 40 children in the school all with complex additional support needs. The team of staff at Carronhill do a lot of sensory work allowing the children to learn through play using play doh and other tools.
Miss Anderson added: “A lot of our kids enjoy being outside and exploring sensory needs. The funds we’re wanting to raise for is for a new bike path.
“It would mean a lot to us and everyone involved in the school, including the staff, pupils, parents and family of the people who attend here.”
The Beast Race
The hugely popular 10k obstacle course will see runners from all over Scotland gear up to get muddy in Aberdeenshire this weekend.
It features over 30 different obstacles to test competitors’ endurance, strength, and ability to withstand mud and water.
Thick, deep swamps, a giant A-frame wall and being blasted with ice cold loch water by jets are just some of the obstacles the brave contestants will face on the banks of Knockburn Loch.
The event supports Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland (CHSS) and a team of colleagues from IHS Markit in Aberdeen are gearing up to brave the race.
The team of three, Beth Sinclair, Martin Insley and Patricia Lavin decided to leave their desks behind next weekend, swap their laptops for trainers, and get muddy.
They all have a personal connection to the cause with family and friends having been affected by chest, heart and stroke conditions.
Hayley Simpson, community, events and fundraising manager at CHSS, said: “They have done an incredible job in smashing their fundraising target already. The funds raised will help make sure people across Scotland get the support they need to live their lives to the full after they return home from hospital.
“It’s always great to have the support of local businesses and organisations. Events like the Beast Race are a good teambuilding activity where colleagues can have fun and raise money for a cause close to their hearts. We would encourage other companies to get involved in next years’ Beast Race events.”