In ‘Spired’ Derbyshire school staff put their best feet forward for charity giving seaside breaks to community’s children

Teaching staff at a Derbyshire infant and nursery school stepped up to a challenge when they raised more than £1,000 for a much-loved children’s charity, by going on a long hike together.

Staff at Spire Nursery & Infant School on Derby Road in Chesterfield arranged to each do a ten mile walk either as a team or in their own time. Many staff walked around the whole of Carsington Water near Ashbourne in order to raise vital funds for the Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre charity.

Every year the charity pays for hundreds of children from around the county to go on five-day seaside stays at its specialist centre in Skegness. While they are there, they get to experience beach days, fun at the fair and even a day at Butlins. Children remember these breaks years after they have been so it is vital that the charity receives donations to be able to keep doing this.

Spire school staff decided to raise money for the centre as over the years its own children have benefited from holidays paid for by the charity, and there are several who are due to attend this year.

By organising a sponsored walk together, they raised £1082.50 for the charity, more than enough to pay for two children to enjoy a week’s holiday there.

Head teacher Kelly Hill said: “The Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre is an amazing charity that provides holidays for so many children across Derby and Derbyshire. A lot of the children in our community have benefited from these holidays and as a staff we wanted to give something back.

“We arranged a sponsored walk and each staff member walked 10 miles to raise as much as we could. We are overwhelmed by the generous donations and hope that what we’ve raised will go some way to allowing more children the opportunity to access these amazing holidays.”

The Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre was set up in 1891 by benevolent Victorians Arnold Bemrose and Harry Sykes. Shut for two years because of Covid, it re-opened in March 2022 and has been welcoming children every week since then.

Charity chair Alan Grimadell said: “I’d like to offer a huge thank you to the staff of Spire Nursery & Infant School for their efforts and very generous donation to our charity. We rely on charitable donations and fundraising to keep our centre going. Every penny raised helps put a smile on the face of a child so I’m just so grateful to staff at the school who took time out of their busy schedule to go for a 10 mile walk together to raise money for our charity.

“I know that children from this school have attended the centre and are doing so again this summer. The Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre exists for all youngsters in the whole of the county who may benefit from a break by the sea away from the stresses and strains of everyday life. It does youngsters who go to our centre so much good to have five days of relaxation and fun. Many thanks to Spire school and all those who tirelessly support us so our charity can keep those smiles going.”

To find out more about the Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre and how you can support it, see With a million people living in Derbyshire, the charity’s plea is for people to be ‘One in a Million’, donating £4 a month by texting DCHCMILLION to 70085.

Photos show: Children from Spire Nursery & Infant School in Chesterfield with Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre chairman Alan Grimadell, his wife Louise (left) and school head teacher Kelly Hill

Staff from Spire Nursery & Infant School at Carsington Water ahead of their 10-mile walk

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