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Journey through the night

They did it! Staff and students from John Hanson Community school pushed through and completed the 24-hour bike ride, raising an outstanding £10,000 specialist equipment for a new independent living course at Andover college.

On Thursday 30th September 2021, at 3pm, competing staff and students embarked on their 24 hour Journey of 4 teams of John Hanson staff and students consisting of 3 members each (1 male staff team, 1 female staff team, 1 male student team and 1 female student team) will be taking part in a 24-hour bike ride to raise money for Jazzie’s Journey.

On the morning of the challenge, Jess, a year 11 student told 95.9FM Andover Radio that the students have been coming in 6am before school to train for the event.

Lucy, head girl at John Hanson school went on to say “We have been training a lot so we are really prepared for this and its raising money for independent living course that they never have the ability to fund before. We are really lucky, we have lots of opportunities. It’s hard for people who have disabilities to have the same opportunities.”

George added “We want to give others a better life, training has been hard but Mr Hulmes has been a big influence and has been encouraging us everyday.

Sports teacher, Mr Hulmes said “This is a big charity event, 10 students with special need their course to be as successful as possible. It’s massive, it’s so important for these students to continue their education.”

All students were really enthusiastic about the event which was open to the public from 6-9pm on Thursday. Due to covid 2 students had to complete the challenge from their front rooms live streaming to the sports hall, whilst 2 students stepped in last minute with minimum training to cycle through the night.

The staff and students took it in turns to cycle for an hour on the static bikes and then had a 2-hour rest. The hall was packed with students, parents and visitors offering their support, cheering them on, and enjoying they cycling themselves.

Head of Year, Mrs Ferguson was of the staff members participating, Andover Radio spoke with her whilst she was cycling her second hour “It’s not too bad, I’m feeling ok but I am only on the beginning of my second hour. I’ve been training at home but only an hour a day so maybe not enough. We will see by 3pm tomorrow”

We also caught up with Mr Earle as he came straight off the bike 2 hours in “Its feeling quite a long way a way to 3 o’clock at the moment. The second round has definitely proved to be harder that the first. That second cycle there was pretty difficult, but its all worth while when you think about what the end product is and why we are doing it in the first place. Its that extra bit of motivation I guess to make sure you finish off.

“I caught up with Jazzie, she was here at the start to cheer us on with her mum and has been wandering around waving to people which has been really nice to have here for the evening”

Andover Fire Station also spent their evening supporting Jazzies journey. Hopping on the bikes with full kit and the breathing apparatus weighing around 20 kg. They cycled alongside College student Charlie Hayward, who will be accessing the course. Charlie enjoyed putting them to the test as they cheered each other on.

They jokingly told Andover Radio “it was hot but it’s for a good cause and it been a really good evening. We have really enjoyed be a part of it and hope to be back next year”

The evening had a tremendous turn out, with the raffle tickets almost selling out, drinks and snacks flowing, the atmosphere was buzzing.

The open evening ended with the raffle being drawn and the bids being finalised to get them to the £10,000 target.

After waving goodbye to the supporters the staff and students pushed through the night, challenging themselves to get to the finish line. The event came to an end at the end of the school day on Friday, where students poured into the sports hall to cheer them on for the remaining seconds.

Head teacher, Mr Stevens said “There are times in our lives where we take a moment to step back and reflect.

“You cannot believe how proud I am of the young people and staff who call John Hanson their second home, and of the local community for getting behind what is undoubtedly a worthy cause.