Pupils in Wigan House at Bolton School Boys’ Division have collectively walked four times the length of Dominica, or 200km, to raise money for charity. Boys in all senior school year groups took part in the fundraising effort by gathering sponsorship and spending their House assemblies walking some of the distance.
Boys walked 200km because half of the money raised was donated to the Dominica Disaster Relief Fund.
Last summer, 32 Bolton School pupils took part in an Operation Wallacea expedition to the Caribbean island of Dominica, where they supported ongoing scientific research. The ‘once in a lifetime’ trip to this beautiful and Biodiverse island was made all the more special by the people who hosted the group and those they met during their two weeks on the island. However, just a few weeks after pupils returned to Bolton on 18 September 2017, Dominica was hit by category 5 Hurricane Maria. Torrential rain and 160mph gusts lashed the island for hours, and the tropical paradise was reduced to rubble: 95% of buildings were damaged or destroyed and the rainforest was decimated.
In Wigan House assemblies, Housemaster David Teasdale and pupils who went on the Operation Wallacea trip shared their photos and memories of the island before the hurricane with the rest of the House, and also showed starkly contrasting images of how the island looks now. David also explained that the distance walked by Wigan House as a whole would be equal to walking the UNESCO World Heritage train that runs the length of Dominica four times.
Pupils donated £750 to the Dominica Disaster Relief Fund. The Dominican government has announced a five-year rebuilding programme and intend to spend around 500 million USD each year restoring buildings.
Another £750 raised by the walk was given to PAPYRUS, a national charity which works to prevent young suicide. At the start of the year, boys voted for PAPYRUS to be the Wigan House charity for the school year.