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Norwich school celebrates £12,500 boost from champion fundraisers

PUBLISHED: 17:17 18 September 2014 | UPDATED: 17:17 18 September 2014

Fred Beckett painting which he gave to raise money for Harford Manor school. From left: John Allen, Toby Vernon, Ben Vernon, Henry Vernon, Debbie Vernon, Paul Eteson and Tim Vernon.

Fred Beckett painting which he gave to raise money for Harford Manor school. From left: John Allen, Toby Vernon, Ben Vernon, Henry Vernon, Debbie Vernon, Paul Eteson and Tim Vernon.

A Norwich school is celebrating a £12,500 boost thanks to champion fundraising efforts co-ordinated by the grandfather of two pupils at the school.

Fred Beckett and the painting which he gave to raise money for Harford Manor school. Fred Beckett and the painting which he gave to raise money for Harford Manor school.

Harford Manor School, for children with complex needs, will use the money to buy an outdoor musical instrument for the primary playground and also create a new modular classroom which will benefit all pupils at the school.

Headteacher Paul Eteson said: “The school has never known anything like this sort of fundraising before. It’s absolutely phenomenal and we are so grateful to everyone involved.”

Tim Vernon, whose eight-year-old grandchildren Henry and Teddy go to the school, kick-started the fundraising by completing The Wolds Way in Yorkshire with his friend Andrew Wilson.

The walk runs for more than 70 miles from Humber Bridge to Filey in Yorkshire and along the way the duo were also joined by various people including Mr Vernon’s wife Debbie, son Toby, and 10-year-old grandson Ben.

The latest fundraiser was the sale of a painting by Fred Beckett - who Mr Vernon knows from his days working for Colman’s in Norwich - of the Wherry Albion at Breydon Water. The painting had been displayed at Mandell’s Gallery, in Elm Hill, and raised more than £2,800.

Mr Vernon’s friend Maitland Cook also ran 10 miles around Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens to raise funds.

“Harford Manor School is a wonderful, wonderful school for young people with special learning needs,” said Mr Vernon, who used to live in Bracondale but now lives in Yorkshire.

“We have been absolutely overwhelmed with the level of support we have had with the fundraising.

“It has been a wonderful journey and the outcome has been fantastic.”

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