School ‘reaches’ North Pole for charity

16 January 2021

Children from St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School have completed a virtual trek to the North Pole raising over £1,600 funds for local charity, The Harrogate Easier Living Project (HELP).

The challenge was completed as part of the Harrogate School Sport’s Partnership ‘Walk to the North Pole’, which invited participants to choose their own mode of travel. In December, the pupils jointly exceeded their target of 4,048 miles needed to ‘reach’ the North Pole through a combination of walking, running, cycling and scootering.

Pupils were encouraged to collect sponsorship for the school’s advent cause, the Harrogate Easier Living Project (HELP). HELP is part of local charity Harrogate and District Community Action (HADCA) and supports people across the district with services to remain living independently in their own homes.

During the pandemic, the charity has been operating its ‘Here to HELP’ Covid-19 response service to assist anyone struggling whilst having to stay at home. To date, their volunteer team and staff have assisted local people with thousands of practical tasks, including shopping, prescription pick-ups and odd jobs. Their volunteers also offer phone befriending to support anyone who may be experiencing feelings of isolation in these socially distanced times.

Acting Headteacher at St Joseph’s, Mrs Rachel Rouse, said:

Although the challenge may have ‘virtually’ taken the children to the North Pole, their fantastic efforts will help to support people right on our doorstep in the Harrogate area. We are overwhelmed at our families’ generosity at school especially in the circumstances we find ourselves in.


Frances Elliot, CEO of HADCA, added:

At a time when our services are never more needed, this donation is a real boost. It will help to ensure we can be ‘Here to HELP’ anyone struggling on both a practical and emotional level in the wake of Covid-19. A big thank you to all the children, families and staff at St Joseph’s for so enthusiastically supporting our work.

For more information about HELP’s support services, please visit or, 01423 813096.

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