Flying visit in memory of Rachel

The fund-raising group at Ponteland High School presents a cheque to the Great North Air Ambulance Service  in memory of former student Rachel Blaylock. Picture by John Tuttiett
The fund-raising group at Ponteland High School presents a cheque to the Great North Air Ambulance Service in memory of former student Rachel Blaylock. Picture by John Tuttiett
0
Have your say

Students at a Northumberland school have received a flying visit from an air amulance they have been working to support.

Ponteland High School has been raising money for the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) in memory of former student Rachel Blaylock.

The fund-raising group at Ponteland High School.  Picture by John Tuttiett

The fund-raising group at Ponteland High School. Picture by John Tuttiett

Rachel was 18 when the car she was travelling in hit a tree on the A696 in August last year.

Her death prompted a fund-raising campaign by pupils at the school to raise £10,000 for the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) with 40 members of staff and students taking on the Great North Run in her memory.

The original target of £10,000 was soon surpassed and on Tuesday members of the running group handed over £16,005 to the charity when the helicopter touched down on the school playing fields.

PE teacher Gordon Grier said: “It has surpassed all expectations. The range of emotions since we got the places has been enormous.

“We were really nervous at the beginning, thinking we couldn’t hit our target of £10,000. It seemed a mountain to climb.

“We felt relief, but above all we were so proud and humbled by the lengths people had gone to to help.

“It was something really tragic that started this off. We wanted to do something positive in the name of a former student who represented everything we have done. We were fighting for a cause we believe in, we wanted to bring people together, and we were passionate about doing it. That’s what Rachel was all about.”

GNAAS’ Liam Martin added: “The school should be so proud of what they have achieved. It was clear from the outset that they were all pulling in the same direction in memory of Rachel. To have raised such an amount is an incredible achievement.”

Mr Grier said the visit of the aircraft had made an impression on the students.