Express & Star

Runners go extra mile to raise funds for charitable trust

Students and staff from a Black Country Academy Trust have take part in an epic running challenge for charity.

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The runners pose outside Kingswinford Academy

The staff and students across Windsor Academy Trust’s family of schools took on two marathons in two days and a 5k fun run, collectively covering 2,000k, to raise funds for the trust’s newly established charitable foundation, the Windsor Academy Trust Community Foundation.

The two-day exhilarating event saw more than 40 members of the Windsor Academy Trust (WAT) family take on the challenge of running between each of the trust’s 10 schools.

Colleagues joined for different legs of the run throughout the weekend, with some, including the trust’s CEO, Dawn Haywood, completing the full 53 mile route.

The runners left at 10am on Saturday, May 13 from Halesowen Athletics Club before visiting Windsor High School and Sixth Form and Colley Lane Primary Academy, both in Halesowen, then Kingswinford Academy in Dudley, before arriving at the trust’s South Staffordshire schools, Cheslyn Hay Academy and Great Wyrley Academy.

The second day, Sunday, May 14, started back at Great Wyrley Academy, with participants running to Rivers Primary Academy and Goldsmith Primary Academy in Walsall before running down to Birmingham to visit the trust’s new free school, Windsor Olympus Academy in Winson Green.

The running party then returned to Halesowen, visiting Tenterfields Primary Academy and Manor Way Primary Academy, before ending at Halesowen Athletics Club for a 5km family fun run and celebration for WAT students and their families.

Dawn Haywood, CEO of Windsor Academy Trust, said: “We recognise that schools and students thrive best when communities do.

"It really matters to us that the WAT family of schools play a strong civic role.

Teachers and pupils greet the runners at Colley Lane Primary Academy in Halesowen

"The Windsor Academy Trust Community Foundation is an important part of this and will enable us to do more in the communities our schools serve.

“WAT a Run is the first of many fundraisers for our foundation and I am delighted to have been part of such a fantastic event.

"The money raised will kickstart our fund and will go towards helping disadvantaged young people and their families in our communities, whether that’s funding club memberships for young people who couldn’t otherwise afford to pursue their passions, providing funding for community projects or donating to charities and causes in our schools’ communities.

“It was truly heartwarming to witness the enthusiasm and determination of all our WAT a Run participants and the event exemplified the unity of our family of schools.

"I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all those who made the event a resounding success, as well as thank our generous sponsors, Amber Windows and Notts Sports, our donors and our supporters.

"Their unwavering support and commitment has ensured our foundation is off to a fantastic start.

"We’re on track to raise our first £10,000, which will enable us to support even more in the communities we serve.”

To find out more and to make a donation to the Windsor Academy Trust Community Foundation, go to

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