Community spirit was in full force when students and staff got involved in the Havering Half Marathon on Sunday.

Organised by Havering Mind – a local mental health charity - the fun and friendly event with around 1,000 runners, brought all sections of the community together.

The College was one of the major sponsors of the race which started and finished on the field at Abbs Cross Academy, Hornchurch. Students from our Travel & Tourism and Public Services courses got involved by volunteering to help early in the morning with the runner registration desk.

Our team of runners were: Principal Paul Wakeling; his PA Debbie Venner; Public Services lecturer at Quarles campus, Mark Brooks; Sixth Form Creative Media and Games Development Subject Leader Stuart Phillips; and Health & Social Care lecturer at Ardleigh Green, Danielle Hooker. All five ran superbly and completed the race in better times than any of them expected!

Mark was first home in 1hr 28mins, next was Stuart in 1hr 51mins, then came Danielle in 2hrs 2mins, Paul was next in 2hrs 4mins and Debbie ran in 2hrs 23mins.

Paul said: “It was a great course to run – it took you through the streets of Havering but also through some of the lovely parks. I’m pleased with my time, this was my first half marathon and I was expecting to finish in around 2 and a half hours.”

Assistant Principal Sue Bannocks said: “We were delighted to be involved in this event and to support a charity which spearheads mental health and well-being, which impacts all age groups. There was a great community spirit and a lovely atmosphere with many people supporting and cheering on the runners. We were also proud of our fantastic students who were a huge help on the registration desks.

“We are looking forward to many more of our students helping to deliver future community projects, including an exciting new Christmas event at the Sensory Garden, adjacent to Harrow Lodge House, Hornchurch.”

The main sponsor of the Havering Half Marathon was The Chigwell Group. Other sponsors were: Aspen Waite, Conran and Partners, Crafty Arts, Cryo Wellness Clinic Brentwood, F Barnes Solicitors, First Base, Havering Triathlon Club, Hornchurch Round Table, JTP and Wates Residential. Other organisations who supported the event were: Everyone Active, Run Things, SV Sports Therapy and Time FM.

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