Superstar school boy sprints for Stoma Awareness

10th November 2023

If your day has felt particularly stressful, or even just a little bleak, we’ve got a wonderful story that will surely cheer you up…


Jack Dale, a superstar eight-year-old from Shotton Colliery’s Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Primary School, took on a marathon challenge to raise over £1,000 for a cause close to his heart.


Jack set himself the task of running 31 miles over the 31 days of October – during Stoma Awareness Month – to raise understanding of stomas and bring a welcome boost to Colostomy UK, a charity which supports people with stomas and their families.


Now that’s seriously impressive! How thoughtful, generous, and courageous. We could all learn a lesson from Jack.


Supportive classmates from the get-go


Classmates from Jack’s school, which is part of Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust, supported him on his mission by running alongside him, around the school field, during one of his miles.


The children ran wearing purple, the colour of stoma awareness, and were cheered on by the rest of the pupils and staff during a special awareness day organised by the school.


Chris Zarraga, Director of Schools North East, said: “When we heard about what Jack and his classmates had done for charity, we were speechless. What a fantastic, considerate idea that will surely result in changing so many people’s lives for the better.


“As a region, we should be striving to teach our future generations to be kind, disciplined, and thoughtful of others. This is clearly already the case for Jack and his fellow year 4 pupils, and that really does warm our hearts.


“Congratulations to Jack and everybody else involved in this wonderful initiative. We’re sure you’ve inspired so many more young people to challenge themselves and raise money for an important cause.”


Colostomy UK is close to Jack’s heart


The charity is incredibly important to Jack, who himself has a stoma – a medically-created opening in the abdomen to divert bodily waste into a collection bag. Stomas are needed for a variety of reasons and may be temporary or permanent.


Even those students who cheered from the sidelines were still involved in marking such an important day.


As part of the awareness day, every child in Jack’s school decorated a stoma bag and both staff and pupils proudly wore Stoma Awareness stickers to show the school’s support.


Jack, who had raised more than £900 by October 20, was delighted with the support shown to him and the cause. He said: “I think it’s great that the school is raising awareness for Colostomy UK and I love that they are supporting the charity.”


Jack’s class teacher, Adam McPhail, was bursting with pride when he said: “Jack has really let his light shine with his awareness work and fundraising efforts.


“Jack is inspiring others to achieve, which is one of our mission values. His charity efforts are remarkable and as a school community we fully support Jack in his efforts and are happy to help Jack and his family raise awareness of such an important condition.”


Though the awareness day had very serious and important undertones, the experience was enjoyable for all pupils. Students at the school were pleased to learn more about their classmate’s condition and do something to help.


Jacob Scholes, also aged eight, summed it up: “It has been great to have a day to learn more about stomas and to raise awareness.”


Excellently put! Huge, huge congratulations to Jack and the rest of the school for all your efforts for Stoma Awareness Month.


Shotton Colliery’s Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Primary School are a Schools North East Partner Schools. If you’d like to find out more about our Partner School membership, click here.


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