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Lapland challenge is a 2,400-mile step in the right direction for Rosslyn School

The community council, learners, staff and head teacher Jackie Urquhart in the existing school playground which they hope to transform.
The community council, learners, staff and head teacher Jackie Urquhart in the existing school playground which they hope to transform.

Staff and parents at a Fife school are putting their best feet forward in epic 2,400 mile virtual hike to Lapland and back.

The energy-sapping challenge is part of efforts to raise funds for a new sensory garden to benefit children with additional educational needs.

Jackie Urquhart, head teacher at Rosslyn Special School in Kirkcaldy, which caters for children up to the age of 18 with complex additional needs, came up with the idea for the gruelling hike as part of a £15,000 fundraiser which will provide an all-inclusive garden and play area for youngsters of all abilities at the school.

Having started the virtual trek in August, staff and parents have now put behind them around 1,600 miles and are well into the return leg, which they hope to complete by the end of the year.

“With the ongoing coronavirus restricting the scale of what we could do to raise funds the idea to complete a virtual walk to Lapland in time for Christmas was ideal as both staff and parents could get involved,” explained Jackie.

“But instead of just walking there we said why not do a round trip, which amounts to 1,200 miles each way.

“It’s been hard work getting out walking and tough on the feet at times but the benefits of keeping active to people’s mental health and well- being during the pandemic has been really important.

“And best of all, if we raise out target we will be able to create a unique open space for our pupils who require a range of support needs.”

The school wants to create a sensory garden which will incorporate, active and quite areas, as well as wealth of other play based learning facilities accessible for children of all abilities including those with disabilities.

“The greatest expense will be installing a ground level trampoline that is wheelchair accessible,” said Jackie

“Our outdoor areas have become even more important during the pandemic and as well as benefiting pupils at both Rosslyn and neighbouring Viewforth High School, the finished project would also be of use to the wider public.”

Parent, Julie Paisley, said the fund raising efforts by the staff and families so far had raised around £5,000.

“Through the walk and other fundraising activities we have managed to raise around £5,000 and with the school also matching that from its own funds we are now two thirds of the way to our target.

“Now we are urging the public to help reach our goal and raise that final £5,000 which will allow us to create a wonderful and rewarding space for the children to enjoy.”

To donate to the school’s Lapland challenge go to www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/jackie-urquhart

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