Review of the year 2018: February

The start of the inaugural Letchworth parkrun which had over 300 participants. Picture: Danny Loo

The start of the inaugural Letchworth parkrun which had over 300 participants. Picture: Danny Loo - Credit: Archant

It was a healthy start to the month as many seemingly stuck to those new year’s resolutions and came out in their hundreds to support the launch of Letchworth parkrun.

Runners of all ages braved the muddy conditions at Letchworth's Grange Recreation Ground. Picture: A

Runners of all ages braved the muddy conditions at Letchworth's Grange Recreation Ground. Picture: Alan Millard - Credit: Archant

The first Saturday run drew 400 people to Letchworth’s Grange Recreation Ground, all eager to take on the 5km route.

Organisers were overwhelmed with the turnout as numbers surpassed their expectations when the popular running event made its debut in North Herts. Event director Mark Edwards said he was “gobsmacked” at the response.

Jonny Benjamin tells students not to be embarrassed about mental health. Picture: Herts County Counc

Jonny Benjamin tells students not to be embarrassed about mental health. Picture: Herts County Council - Credit: Archant

In Stevenage, February saw health campaigner Jonny Benjamin visit Barnwell School to give an assembly on mental health to the school’s Year 8 and 9 students.

As part of his #JustTalk campaign, he aims to build the conversation around mental health amongst boys from a young age and remove the stigma around the topic.

Jonny Benjamin MBE visited Barnwell Middle School on Wednesday to talk to students about his experie

Jonny Benjamin MBE visited Barnwell Middle School on Wednesday to talk to students about his experience with having a mental health condition. Picture: Herts County Council - Credit: Archant

Jonny became known for his #FindMike campaign in 2014, which helped him find the stranger who stopped him from taking his own life.

He gave an inspirational talk at the assembly and spoke to students individually about their coping strategies around these issues.

The match was held in memory of Vince Paige. Picture: Letchworth Garden City Eagles

The match was held in memory of Vince Paige. Picture: Letchworth Garden City Eagles - Credit: Archant

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The month also saw the first annual trophy match organised in honour of the Letchworth Garden City Eagles FC chairman Vince Paige, who devoted his life to the club.

Before his unexpected death in February 2017, the life president of the club played an important part in transforming the club to a major junior and senior football club in North Herts.

The quick thinking of meningitis survivor Ian Alexander saved the life of a six-year-old girl with t

The quick thinking of meningitis survivor Ian Alexander saved the life of a six-year-old girl with the killer infection. Picture: Meningitis Research Foundation. - Credit: Archant

Senior team manager Jason Valentine said that the Vince Paige Trophy would be “a mark of respect and a way of remembering him,” and will continue his goal of expanding the club.

Also making the news was a real-life hero, as Ian Alexander’s quick-thinking actions saved a six-year-old girl as he spotted the early onset signs of meningitis.

An ambassador for Meningitis Research Foundation and meningitis survivor himself, Ian insisted that a friend took her daughter to see a doctor immediately once hearing of her symptoms.

In hospital, doctor’s praised the ambassador for spotting the early signs and said that thanks to him the girl made a speedy and full recovery.

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