'Life-changing' charity for disabled people holds race and fete with local school

The Westmorland Gazette: The men's 10k gets under way The men's 10k gets under way

RUNNERS of all ages shrugged off the heatwaves around Old Hutton at the weekend to raise money for the charity which helps 3,000 disabled people every year.

A 10k Race and Summer Fete took place on Saturday June 8 to raise funds for both Bendrigg Lodge, a residential outdoor activity centre, and co-organisers, Old Hutton Primary School.

Every year the Trust needs to bring in around £40,000 so it can offer activities like canoeing, climbing, caving and abseiling with wheelchairs.

Fun that the centre’s principal, Trevor Clarke, says its students ‘would never think possible’.

‘A lof of disabled children can never really reach their full potential because we are used to trying to do everything for them,’ explained Mr Clarke, of Kirkby Lonsdale.

‘By giving them these experiences you are broadening their horizons - giving them self-confidence and self-esteem. They feel much better and their parents and carers are amazed. It’s a really emotional job.’

Among the day’s events were a short fun run. One youngster fell over and painfully grazed her hand but was hellbent on crossing the finish line - even in tears.

Cheered on by his waving wife at the roadside, was 77-year-old Conrad Slater, of Windermere, who was taking part in the fun run after years of doing the 10k event.

Mr Slater said: ‘I just want to continue to support Bendrigg regularly. I do this and go to their garden parties and try to do what I can.’

Outdoor instructor, Harry McGhie, 23, from Kendal, entertained the crowds with his unicycle, while a brass band from the special Park School in Blackpool, played hits like Elton John’s Circle Of Life.

In the 10k event, fiirst man home was Danny Parkinson of Kendal AC with a time of 32 minutes 13 seconds.

The first local woman home was Allison Daly, of Kendal AC with a time of 43m 01 secs.

In the two-mile fun run, the first home was Lewis Black, 14, with a time of 12m 51s.

He was followed by Maisie Gough, 10, with a time of 15m 12s, who was also the first under 11 girl home.

First under 11 boy was Henry Hunter, eight, with a time of 13m 55s.

The youngest runners were five-year-olds Theo Robinson, Neve Turnbull and Liam Blair.

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