School makes marathon effort
A PUPIL'S brush with death has inspired his school to take on a fundraising challenge.
Staff and students at Wansbeck Primary School are doing a marathon challenge on Friday for Meningitis UK.
They decided to organise the event after reading in the Mail that Year 3 pupil Steven Gilligan, eight, had almost died from meningitis when he was a baby.
The Mail featured Steven's story before his dad Patrick took part in the Bath Half Marathon.
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Before seeing the article, people at Wansbeck, on the Longhill estate, had been unaware of Steven's fight for survival.
Headteacher Darren Marks said: "Staff have a lot of respect and admiration for what Patrick has done to raise awareness.
"It's vitally important parents are aware of the signs and symptoms of meningitis.
"Steven was very lucky that his meningitis was identified early and he has come through. He is a credit to our school and to his parents and family.
"Others, unfortunately, aren't so lucky, that's is why it's vital the charity receives our support."
Patrick, 40, who also used to attend Wansbeck, completed the Bath Half Marathon earlier this month in 2 hours 57 minutes, raising £700 for Meningitis UK.
Steven was 13 weeks old when he was diagnosed with meningococcal meningitis.
The challenge is taking place on Friday, the last day of term.
Staff will be split into two teams and will race to be the first to complete 26 miles – the equivalent of a full marathon.
The school has also sent out leaflets, which includes symptoms to be aware of.
Patrick said: "It is nice of the teachers to help."
For a free information pack, call Meningitis UK on 0117 9476320.