Staff at The Cotswold School are running or walking a marathon over the Easter school holidays to raise awareness around mental health.

From teaching assistants and support staff to teachers, senior leaders and the principal, people across the school have been getting outdoors and exercising, to focus on their wellbeing.

As well as taking care of their own physical and mental health, they are raising money to go towards positive mental health support for young people at the school. This includes pupil counselling, provided by local charity Headspace.

The school set up the Easter Marathon Challenge during lockdown, while most staff and pupils were teaching and learning from home.

They are aiming to complete the 26.2 miles individually, in any number of sections over the Easter fortnight.

Science teacher Kerry Bridgwater broke her ankle back in December.

Still using crutches to walk, the marathon is part of her rehabilitation and says the goal will help her stay on track.

“Every step will improve my chance of walking better now and properly in the future," said Kerry.

“For me, this also celebrates the fact that I am walking at all and I do feel lucky to have that!

"Realistically, I will try for two miles a day and may need to do that in small sections.”

Teaching assistant Nick Stewart-Hodges is aiming for the best times he can get, as he’s a seasoned runner.

He said: “I know that fresh air and movement are good for my mental and physical wellbeing.”

Fellow teaching assistant Courtney Henley said: “No one should have to walk alone.”

She will be completing the distance while walking her dog and says she wants to share the message that mental health is precious, after losing a close member of her family.

Many others are walking or running to support their physical and mental health. Training was a great tonic in lockdown.

For some, the initiative has helped them deal with challenges in their own lives and heightened the importance of supporting young people’s positive mental health.

Computer studies teacher Mr Lord was inspired to get back into running, which he does early in the mornings before getting ready for school.

He will complete the 26.2 miles across several days.

He said: "I see first-hand the struggles that young people have to tackle, and the impact this has on their mental health.

"Taking part in the Easter Marathon Challenge is a small way that I can help, and raises awareness for local charity Headspace.

"More selfishly, it's forcing me to get outdoors and clear my head in these strange times – maintaining my own mental wellbeing!”

If you want to add your support for The Cotswold School’s Easter Marathon Challenge, you can donate via