Stevenage headteacher's sponsored cycle ride in memory of students' father
PUBLISHED: 12:52 02 April 2019 | UPDATED: 22:28 02 April 2019
A headteacher took part in a charity bike ride on Friday in support of two bereaved students who lost their father to bowel cancer earlier this year.
Mark Allchorn, head of The Barclay Academy in Stevenage, was joined by students, staff and parents to complete a 15km bike ride in memory of Darren Wallace, who was diagnosed with bowel cancer last year.
Darren, the dad of Barclay students Darcy and Tate, would have turned 50 next year but sadly the cancer spread and Darren lost his battle. His funeral was held on March 1.
Through the sponsored bike ride, Mark and the rest of the 20-strong cycling team, which included Tate, have raised more than £1,600 for Garden House Hospice Care in Darren’s memory – smashing the £1,000 target.
A bake sale was also held to raise additional funds for the Letchworth-based hospice.
Mark, who is a keen cyclist, said: “It was wonderful to share my love of cycling with Barclay students, parents and staff to raise money for such a good cause and support the Wallace family.
“It was a delightful surprise to be welcomed back at the end of the ride by the whole school, in true Barclay community style.”
Barclay teacher Jill Borcherds said: “This is what a school rooted in its community can achieve.”
Mark will leave his position as Barclay headteacher at the end of term on Friday, having resigned after the school was taken over by the Future Academies Trust in February.
He said: “I’ve been treated to a whole school photograph, a Barclay Tour de Stevenage yellow jersey, and students, parents and staff wishing me well over these last two weeks. Who knows what pleasant surprises await me?
“I’ll be saying farewell to students and staff in assemblies and at a party.
“The generosity of everyone’s thanks has been amazing and there will always be a special place in my heart reserved for The Barclay School and the Stevenage community.
“There have been many high points.
“Barclay is a great school that I’ve been privileged and proud to lead for the last two years.”
You can still support the cycling team and donate to Garden House Hospice Care via justgiving.com/fundraising/mark-allchorn2.
Mark added: “The Garden House Hospice does great work, so please be generous.”