A GROUP of secondary school students, staff and their families will be walking 20,000 steps or ten miles to raise money for charity this weekend.

Pupils from Oakbank School in Reading will be walking 20,000 steps or ten miles for Launchpad – a homelessness prevention charity in Reading.

English teacher, Helen McNamara, who runs the school's Duke of Edinburgh (D of E) scheme, explained the D of E expedition which takes place each year has been cancelled.

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Due to this, the school has decided to arrange a 20,000 step walk for charity and has extended the offer to all students, staff, and their family to take part.

A Just Giving page has been created and so far, £395 has been raised of the £500 target.

The walk will see participants walking apart on Saturday, July 11, to raise money and awareness for Launchpad.

Students are planning their own walks either around their houses or on local routes and some are even cycling the equivalent distance.

Miss McNamara said the core values of D of E are being an “active citizen” and being involved within the community and the walk is a "great way to show those values".

Miss McNamara added: “This is a way for us to be involved in our school community at a time when we are not actually meeting in person.”

She explained the school can support the wider Reading community by choosing to raise money for Launchpad.

She said: “Duke of Edinburgh is about doing something different and pushing yourself to try new things and take on a challenge and for us it’s important that students see the value in this.”

Kate Martin, Fundraising Manager at Launchpad, said: “It’s amazing how resourceful the students at Oakbank School are being in these difficult times.”

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She added: “The support of our community is essential in the coming months as we see the devastating impact the pandemic and subsequent lockdown has had on vulnerable people in Reading – and we are incredibly grateful to Oakbank School for taking on the challenge to help us continue our vital work.

"We are wishing them the best of luck on their walks this Saturday.”

To make a donation to Launchpad visit the Just Giving page here.