CHILDREN from a school in Catterick Garrison are among the first to pledge their support to a new campaign by two leading military charities raising cash for veterans.

Help for Heroes and Walking with the Wounded have joined forces for this year's Walking Home for Christmas campaign, which calls upon people to raise cash by going for a walk.

Le Cateau Primary School in Catterick Garrison has 375 of its 500 pupils coming from military families.

Headteacher Ian Mottram has dedicated the school’s final Daily Mile of the term to Walking Home for Christmas and will combine it with the annual Christmas jumper day as a fundraising event for the cause.

“A few of our pupils have dads who have been, or are being, supported by Phoenix House Recovery Centre in Catterick Garrison so we are aware of the good work done by Help for Heroes,” said Mr Mottram.

“Walking Home for Christmas is an ideal concept for schools to link into.

Our children really benefit from a 15 minute power walk around the school grounds at the start of each day.

"For some, it’s an opportunity to burn off excess energy; others become less lethargic in the fresh air; while some enjoy chatting to staff in an informal setting.

"By the time they go into the classroom, they are more settled and focused.”

Le Cateau’s participation will take place on Thursday, December 20 when parents will also be invited to take part. Help for Heroes mascot, Hero Bear, will start off the walk at 9.15am and welcome everyone back at the end, while staff from Phoenix House will be on site with collecting buckets.

Melanie Dickinson, Help for Heroes’ manager of recovery at Phoenix House, said the charity was delighted to have the support of a local school and hoped others might do likewise.

“Le Cateau is leading the way and it would be fantastic if others follow in their footsteps,” she said.

“By creating your own fundraising walk between December 13 and 23 you can give hope to veterans who have little to look forward to this Christmas and have walked in far more dangerous places for us."

Visit for information and to register for a fundraising pack.