Two teachers from Stepping Stones School in Hindhead will take on a 152-mile bike ride next week in memory of a pupil who died.
Matt Fuller and Matt Peel will cycle on July 2 from the Isle of Portland in Dorset to The Royal Marsden Hospital, where former pupil Piers Muddle had received treatment.
Piers was just 15 years old when he lost his battle with a terminal brain tumour on May 20 this year – and now the teaching duo are determined to raise funds for charity Brain Tumour Research.
One half of the biking duo, and Piers’ form tutor Matt Peel, said: “I had joined Stepping Stones School and was given a tutor group to work with. Within this tutor group was a young chap dressed in blue chinos, red shirt and grey jumper who changed my opinion of what perseverance and bravery meant.
“Not too long into my time at Stepping Stones we were informed Piers had a re-occurrence of a brain tumour and that he wasn’t expected to be with us for very long.
“He was a hard-working student, well liked by the staff, a real friend to his classmates, well-mannered and someone who loved his walking and art – so to be told his life would be cut short so suddenly was heartbreaking.”
After his diagnosis, teachers and pupils worked together to make his time “as enjoyable and fulfilling as possible”.
Alongside the cycle ride, the school is also planning a day of fundraising on site with a sponsored walk around the Devil’s Punch Bowl and a cake sale.
Starting the cycle ride from the Isle of Portland was a location selected because of its close links with Piers, who visited the Portland Activity Centre.
Matt said: “Watching him kayak, rock climb and enjoy the Jurassic coast was a joy to behold. Despite the ups and downs his treatment caused, Piers never complained or wanted to be treated differently, and he certainly didn’t want to miss time at school where he would cook, paint and enjoy his time with his friends.”
Emma West, director of education and acting headteacher at Stepping Stones School, said: “Piers was a wonderful student – colourful, happy and always impeccably dressed! He engaged fully with every aspect of school life.
"We’re so proud of him and the positive impact he had on the staff and students in his time at Stepping Stones.
"Next Friday, the whole school community will be raising awareness, some much needed funds, and I’m sure many smiles, as we remember Piers and the joy he brought to the school.”
Piers’ mother and father, Yvette and Giles Muddle said their son had fought with brain tumours since he was six years old and that there was “proof that research prolonged his life” – which the school is now fundraising for.