PUPILS and staff at Highfield Middle School in Prudhoe put their running shoes on last weekend to raise money for a good cause, after finding out that three children connected with the school were suffering from cancer.

A huge effort was made to support Sunday’s Children’s Cancer Run.

Highfield’s headteacher, Richard Oates, explained: “My son was diagnosed with cancer in December. He is being very well cared for by the brilliant NHS in Newcastle and is doing well. Unfortunately, in the last few weeks we have had more difficult news. One of our teachers is on maternity leave at the moment after giving birth to a beautiful son in November.

“Sadly, her baby boy has also been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and is undergoing treatment in Newcastle on the same ward as my son. The family are doing amazingly well in very difficult circumstances.

“Then last week we heard the devastating news that Katie Duff, in Year 7 at Highfield, who has already shown incredible strength and resilience by winning one battle with cancer, will have to battle the disease again and will begin treatment in the next few days.”

More than 100 residents, along with staff and pupils at the school, took part in the Children’s Cancer Run at Newcastle Racecourse in Gosforth to raise money for North-East cancer charities, raising more than £5,300 and putting the school at the top of the Children’s Cancer Run fund-raising leaderboard.

Highfield deputy head Catherine Haslam said: “We set out to make as much money as we could to support cancer research and have ended up raising an amount that we could never have imagined.

“Thanks to all pupils, staff, parents and carers who ran the race and for the extended school community for the massive amount of support that has got behind this.”

Sixty nine schools from across the North-East took part in the cancer run, including Darras Hall Primary, Ponteland Primary, Richard Coates CoE MiddleSchool, Ovingham CoE First School, Ovingham Middle School, Bellingham First School, and Ponteland Middle School.

Bellingham First School headteacher Wendy Goddard said: “We had 13 children involved, along with parents and staff.

“I’ve been running it for over 20 years. I started because when I was a teacher in Killingworth, a child in my class was diagnosed with leukaemia.

“One parent received over £500 in sponsorship. Some of the children have had experiences with people with cancer, or have been to the RVI for one reason or antoher, so they know where the money’s going.”