STAFF from an Andover secondary school have completed a 26.2-mile challenge to shine a light on Children's Cancer.

The 17 person strong, all-female team from John Hanson School took part in the Cancer Research UK Shine Night Walk in London on Saturday, 23 September.

The event, which attracts thousands of entrants, takes in a marathon length route, seeing the famous sites of London, including The Houses of Parliament, The Shard and St Paul's Cathedral by night.

Assistant headteacher, Anna Hall, said she came up with the idea while on maternity leave in January. She was out for a walk and felt she needed something to do to help motivate her to get out on rainy days with her newborn baby, Jemima.

The 34-year-old said: “I had the idea of a challenge.

"Something that us ladies could spend the coming months preparing for physically, an opportunity to raise awareness that 'girls can’, as well as a chance for us all to fundraise together.”

Kim Hide, fellow assistant headteacher, decided on the fundraising motto, ‘This Girl Can’, as a way to connect the walk with the school's ethos.

Mrs Hide said: "We want to motivate the young people in our school to get active whilst sharing the message that 'girls can', linking in with the work we'll do next year to highlight equality and fairness through tutor time, literacy and Personal, Social and Health Education."

A further 15 staff members joined in for a variety of reasons, from testing their physical fitness to wanting to help fundraise for a cause close to their hearts.

One walker, Charlotte Ferguson, said: “It became so meaningful to all of us, and when the going got tough on the night, we didn’t want to let either ourselves or those who’d sponsored us down."

Mrs Hall said highs of the night included seeing the sites of London lit up and the sun rising over Embankment.

The team had sought to raise £4,000 in sponsorship for taking on the challenge.

Mrs Hall added: "The team absolutely smashed their target with our current total exceeding £6,600 thanks to the kindness of our students, staff, parents and local businesses.

"Special thanks go to Stitch-a-logo for providing the team with promotional t-shirts free of charge, and to Sam Abraham at Lloyds Banking Group who made a generous donation."

To donate, visit