Preston school raises thousands of pounds to help former footballer diagnosed with MND walk down the aisle

A Preston school has fundraised an impressive amount to support a former footballer who was recently diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND).

Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 3:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 3:48 pm
Ingol pupil Reece Hamilton Heath walked two miles every day throughout March and raised just short of £1,000. He won an award for his efforts.

Ingol Community Primary School, Whitby Avenue, has raised nearly £3,000 for 36-year-old former footballer George Melling, from Chorley, who was diagnosed with the condition in January.

As part of its ‘Move a Mile for George’ fundraiser, students and staff walked, ran and cycled a mile more than they usually would.

The school community had hoped to travel a total of 600 miles (around the length of England) in March but this target was surpassed when a total distance of 1,500 miles was reached by staff alone.

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Ingol CP pupils going the extra mile in the school playground as part of their fundraiser.

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Headteacher Naomi Parkinson, said: “George is well-known by some of our staff and had been fighting for a diagnosis for about 18 months.

“We wanted to do something a little bit different that we could all get involved with under COVID restrictions and, at the time, the school was still partially closed.

“We decided to do something physical to help with the children’s mental health so they could get out and about.”

Ingol CP pupils 'Move a Mile for George'

One student, Reece Hamilton Heath, walked two miles every day for the challenge and raised just short of £1,000.

He won a ‘Sunshine Award’ from Morrison’s Supermarket for his efforts.

“One member of staff ended up running 100k!” Mrs Parkinson said.

“Now we are literally a few pounds away from our fundraising target.

“All the money will go to George and his family.”

The head hopes that the money can help George fulfill his wish to walk up the aisle with fiancé Nicci this summer.

“Since he was diagnosed, George’s wish has been to walk down the aisle so we hope we can support him with that.” said the head.

Ingol CP hopes to continue fundraising in the summer with various sporting events planned.

The school’s fundraising page can be found at this link and will continue to collect donations until the end of April.

Motor neurone disease (MND) is a condition that affects the brain and nerves. It causes muscle weakness which gets progressively worse with time.

No cure has yet been found for MND but those living with the condition can have treatment to reduce its impact.