A GROUP of fundraisers will be pulling on their walking boots to set off on a 30-mile trek to help provide a new surface for play area at their school.

West Park Academy are aiming to raise £3,000 to replace the safe surface of its multi use games area for the pupils at the Darlington primary school.

On Saturday, they will be setting Preston Park at 6am before following the course of the River Tees along the Teesdale Way as they head back towards the school.

PE co-ordinator Caroline Black said the 25 staff members who are taking on the challenge have spent several weeks training for the trek.

"We have been doing plenty of training sessions to get our feet used to all the walking," she said. "Some of us are runners but this is completely different for us. The plan is to set off Preston Park at 6am and complete the challenge in 12 hours back at the school.

"Most of us will be completing the 30-mile stretch of the Teesdale Way but some will be doing 15 miles instead – which is still a fantastic effort."

The West Park Walkers will be supported by a team of volunteers who will be providing refreshments at stations throughout the walk and at the finish.

And their efforts are all in aid of raising essential money to replace the surface of the school's multi use games area which is coming to the end of its usable life.

Mrs Black added: "Sport is really important to young people, I know I would say that as the school's PE co-ordinator, but this is about health and safety for the pupils as well.

"We regularly do fundraising events for a number of different charities but this time we need to do it to cover the cost of the new play surface.

"Most schools are facing financial difficulties and face tough decisions on how they spend the money – that is why we decided to take on this challenge and try to raise the cash to pay for it."

Anyone wanting to sponsor the school can visit