A HEADTEACHER joined a group of his peers to take on a number of tough challenges in aid of a children’s mental health charity.

Neal Bailey, headmaster at Mowden Hall, near Stocksfield, joined 21 other prep school headteachers in Pembrokeshire to take on the 2019 Heads Up Challenge.

The challenge saw the headteachers tackle kayaking, an 80km bike ride, and a 20km run through the stunning scenery of west Wales over the August bank holiday.

Neal explained why he decided to take on the gruelling tasks.

He said: “Two years ago, I was sitting around a coffee table with a few other prep school heads.

“The headmaster of Elstree School (in Reading) announced he was eager to organise a large scale fund-raising event.

“He wanted to gather as many prep heads as possible, to take on a challenge that would stretch us all at least slightly – or more in some cases – out of our comfort zone.

“It was all in order to raise funds and increase awareness for a selected charity.

“The hours ticked by rather quicker than the kilometres, but it is amazing what a huge dollop of camaraderie, motivation and support, washed down with an isotonic, supercharged refreshment, can do.”

The headteachers were raising money for Place2Be, a charity that seeks to improve the mental wellbeing and prospects of children, their families, and school communities. The heads set themselves an ambitious target to raise.

Neal said: “One in eight children has a mental health problem. Children should not have to face these problems alone. We set out our aim to raise £100,000 and are drawing closer to achieving that.”

Donations can be made at justgiving.com/fundraising/mowdenhallheadsupchallenge.