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Last hurrah for our head

By Kent and Sussex Courier  |  Posted: May 03, 2013

By Scarlet Jones scarlet.jones@courier.co.uk

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A HAWKHURST head teacher who has raised more than £100,000 for charity is to hold one last fundraising push before he leaves the school gates this term.

David Hopkins has been head teacher of Marlborough House School for 18 years and during that time has organised numerous fundraising events for Royal Marsden Hospital.

Together with his wife Emma, he began raising funds for the hospital's children's cancer unit after their only daughter was taken ill early on in his time at the Hawkhurst school.

Mr Hopkins, 55, said: "In my teaching career there have been a number of occasions when childhood cancers had touched the lives of children I taught.

"But as well as that our daughter Bethan was successfully treated for leukaemia in the unit and I just wanted to do something to help.

"I am not a doctor or a medical professional so there was nothing I do could in that respect but I could support the ward and raise money."

The father-of-three cycled from London to Paris in 2007 and raised £22,000.

Last year he completed an epic walk along the South Downs Way, raising a further £60,000.

Mr Hopkins said: "The support I've had from friends and colleagues at the school has been amazing.

"It's been invaluable."

At the end of this summer term, Mr Hopkins and his wife, who works as a morning matron at the High Street school, will both be stepping down from their posts.

Before they go, however, they have organised a five-mile walk from the school to Bodium tomorrow (Saturday).

'Bodium – here we come' will be an opportunity for pupils to say farewell to the pair, as well as raise money for the children's unit.

Mr Hopkins said: "I think we have got a couple of hundred parents, children, staff and dogs taking part.

"It looks like it will be well-supported.

"I've done the walk before and it is a beautiful walk through the Weald.

"It will be very special for me because it will be the last fundraiser for Royal Marsden I will be involved in at Marlborough House School.

"I just wanted to share this walk I have enjoyed many times, with those who have known me and supported me over the years."

The cross-country walk will start at 10am from the school and should take about two hours.

Transport will be provided back to the school where participants will receive refreshments.

Sponsorship forms and further details about the event are available from the school office.

Anyone interested in joining the walk or making a donation should get in touch with Margaret McTrusty by calling 01580 753555

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