Melton teacher running up big fundraising total for Birch Wood School

Hannah O'Mara doing the Great North Run PHOTO: Supplied
Hannah O'Mara doing the Great North Run PHOTO: Supplied
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A special needs teacher at Melton’s Birch Wood School is fundraising to buy specialist inclusive playground equipment for the children she teaches.

Hannah O’Mara, a keen runner, has already raised over £1,000 to purchase a swing, by running the Rothley 10k, the Prestwold 10k, the Watermead Challenge, the Great North Run, the Beacon Trail 10k, the Leicester Half Marathon, the Leicestershire 10k and the Peterborough 10 Mile, but, she says she plans to tackle the Draycote Water Santa Dash later this month so she can raise more funds.

The mum of three said: “I have been running for a couple of years now. I love running with my friends, many of whom have ran alongside me over the past few months. I’m not a fast runner by any stretch of the imagination, but I love getting out there and proving that anyone can run.

“I ran my second half marathon in March, the London Landmarks Half Marathon for Make-A-Wish UK. As I had several races planned over the summer months, I decided to dedicate my efforts to raising money for the cause closest to my heart.

“We really need a swing for our primary playground that is accessible to our children who are wheelchair users. However, these swings cost a whopping £1,000.

“I set an initial target of £1,000, which I thought was very ambitious. I thought that I could perhaps put whatever I raised towards the cost, though the donations from friends, family and parents of our students have been overwhelming.

“I have now raised £1,008, but there is more playground equipment that we would like to buy. What has started with a swing, could develop into a whole playground!

“Our school now has a group of runners called ‘Canter with Banter’ and we are all participating in the Leicestershire Half Marathon in February to raise money for Birch Wood.”

The 37-year-old currently teaches a class of EYFS/KS1 kids who have profound and multiple learning difficulties. Some of these children have visual or hearing impairments, the majority are non-verbal and are wheelchair users.

Hannah added: “They are the most fabulous and inspiring young people and they astound me every day with their determination and resilience. I also have a great team of learning support assistants who help me to delivery our sensory curriculum and therapy sessions.”

l To sponsor Mrs O’Mara log on to her fundraising page at