Teachers and past students have run a half marathon in memory of a former pupil who took her own life.
Marcus Cherrill a teacher at The Causeway School, Eastbourne, recruited 14 teachers and past students from his previous school, Seaford Head, and four teachers from his current school to join him in the Eastbourne Half Marathon.
They were raising money for national charity PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide in memory of Hannah Matthews from Seaford who committed suicide at just 20 years old.
So far the group has raised more than £5,000 but hoping to raise £6,000 by the end of the month.
Several of the young runners were close friends of Hannah’s and Marcus Cherrill had taught her.
Mr Cherrill said: “She was an amazing young person who was loved by many.
“I have been privileged to have seen many young people grow up and become brilliant young adults and am always saddened when I hear that one of those has passed away.
“PAPYRUS is a vital charity.
“I hope that by raising awareness through this half marathon there may be young people out there who get the support they need to make it through tough times.”
One of the runners Clare Flack said: “As a group we have been very gratified by the support people have shown and to date have raised over £5,000 with more pledges still coming in, we’re hoping to reach our cumulative target of £6,000 by the end of the month when we will be closing the books.
“Quite a few of us had never been runners, let alone half marathon so it was a big challenge, but all of us have been affected by young suicide and when it happened unexpectedly back in October it motivated Marcus Cherrill to form this group and not only raise valuable funds but also awareness of this alarmingly growing problem.”
Aanika Dhillon, fundraising campaign manager for PAPYRUS, said: “Suicide is the highest cause of death in young people under the age of 35. We have a big agenda and rely heavily on the support of our fundraisers.
“This wonderful effort will certainly help us to extend our outreach programmes, raising awareness that help is available and that suicide need not be the inevitable result of feeling suicidal.”
To donate visit virginmoneygiving.com/MarcusCherrill