MORE than 350 pupils, staff, friends and family have been cycling to raise money for a permanent tribute to a teacher who died tragically last year.
Mum-of-one Emma-Jane Hopper of Burton Green, Rossett, was diagnosed with a rare brain condition last October and died from the illness a month later.
A Years 3 and 4 teacher at St Peter’s Primary School in Rossett, Emma-Jane was 34 when she contracted Moyamoya Syndrome. She died on November 16 last year leaving behind her husband Scott and two-year-old daughter Eleanor.
Moyamoya is a narrowing or blockage of the four main blood vessels in the brain, known as internal carotid arteries.
Staff and pupils at the school have been mourning her death and have been taking part in a virtual cycle ride to Malawi which they hope will raise enough money for a permanent tribute to her in the school.
The challenge to cycle the 5,000 miles from Rossett to Malawi is being done by staff, pupils and friends of Emma-Jane so they can install a mosaic which will depict all the aspects of her life in school.
But that target has been passed and, with many more riders still to come, the school has set a new challenge of getting to Cape Town by tomorrow.
Headteacher Helen Pritchard said: “We have eight exercise bikes which are going constantly every day from 8am to 6pm.
“There have been school children, staff, parents, and previous pupils and friends of Emma-Jane all taking part. There have been about 350 different riders so far.
“The support has been tremendous and a great tribute to Emma-Jane.
“It shows how many people loved and respected her.
“There has been a real special feeling around the school knowing that we have been doing this challenge for someone who was so special to the school.”
During the challenge, there has also been a book people who take part can sign and leave a tribute, which will be passed on to Scott and Eleanor.
As yet, there is no figure as to how much the challenge has raised.
Sponsorships will be collected shortly after the challenge has finished.
Any money left over will go to a school in Malawi which St Peter’s has supported with sport kits and uniforms.
See full story in the Chester Leader