Ford pupil steps out for late headteacher

An eight-year-old girl has smashed her fund-raising target after walking the entire length of Hadrian's Wall, in honour of her headteacher who died of cancer.

Saturday, 20th August 2016, 7:38 am
Poppy Rudge, centre, with mum Sue and family-friend Mikey.

Selfless Poppy Rudge completed the 84-mile trek with her mum Sue and family friend Mikey on Saturday, to raise money for HospiceCare North Northumberland.

The youngster was inspired to take on the challenge after Sally Wood, her headteacher at Hugh Joicey C of E Aided First School in Ford, was diagnosed with a brain tumour last November.

Sally, 50, passed away at her Alnwick home on Saturday, July 30; just eight days before Poppy was due to start the walk.

The fund-raising trio completed the trek in six days and camped along the route.

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Poppy, who is going into Year 4 in September, had aimed to raise £840, but her amazing efforts have seen her collect almost £1,800 so far.

And that total is set to rise, with one generous donor offering to make up any shortfall to £2,000, if that milestone isn’t met by the end of the week.

Poppy, from Branxton, is delighted to have raised so much money for HospiceCare, which looked after Sally.

Her funeral was last Thursday.

Poppy said: “I enjoyed the walk. I think Mrs Wood would be very impressed and we have raised a lot of money for a wonderful headteacher, who was very brave.”

Poppy’s mum said they were grateful to everyone who offered words of encouragement and support.

She thanked Border Villager Taxi for taking the group to the start and the custodians of Gilsland Village Hall for allowing them to spend one night in the hall, providing much-needed shelter from the rain.

HospiceCare North Northumberland is a local independent palliative care charity. Its Hospice at Home Service enables people to be at home, rather than a hospital setting, at the end of their life. It also provides bereavement support, respite care for carers and therapeutic drop-in clinics. To meet demand, it needs to raise nearly £500,000 this year.

There is still time to sponsor Poppy, visit