'Phenomenal' turnout for memorial parkrun to remember popular teacher

Mollie White and Eleanor Bray host the Cartwright 5K park run at Blickling Hall in memory of Aylsham

People young and old getting involved in the Cartwright 5k mental health fundraiser at Blickling parkrun - Credit: Sonya Duncan

High school pupils and staff, past and present, came out in force to remember a much-loved teacher and boost mental health funds.

Catherine Cartwright wears yellow coat with thumbs up

Catherine Cartwright, former teacher at Aylsham High School - Credit: SUPPLIED

Catherine Cartwright, 31, died at her home address in Badersfield on August 1, 2020.

An inquest into her death at Norfolk Coroner's Court on January 7 heard how the Aylsham High School teacher had previously suffered periods of depression and took her own life.

Mollie White and Eleanor Bray host the Cartwright 5K park run at Blickling Hall in memory of Aylsham

Participants taking on the Cartwright 5k mental health fundraiser - Credit: Sonya Duncan

On Saturday, September 11, the Blickling parkrun course was "turned into a sea of yellow" with 339 people running, walking or jogging the National Trust course while wearing the bright colour for the Cartwright 5k fundraiser.

Mollie White (left) and Eleanor Bray (right)host the Cartwright 5K park run at Blickling Hall in mem

Mollie White (left) and Eleanor Bray (right) host the Cartwright 5k park run at Blickling Hall in memory of Aylsham High School teacher Catherine Cartwright - Credit: Sonya Duncan

It was the idea of two of Mrs Cartwright's former pupils - Mollie White and Eleanor Bray - and raised around £1,500 for Young Minds mental health charity and The Aylsham Community Trust (TACT) families, which supports children and families in the area.

Mollie White and Eleanor Bray host the Cartwright 5K park run at Blickling Hall in memory of Aylsham

People taking part in the mental health awareness event at Blicking parkun in memory of Catherine Cartwright - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Tanya Wiseman, lead instructor for health and social care at Aylsham High School, said: "The ambience at the fundraiser was electrifying. Cat would have been in awe and felt so proud that it was for her.

"It was brilliant because so many staff and students turned up. It was phenomenal. It was an emotional day."

Mollie White and Eleanor Bray host the Cartwright 5K park run at Blickling Hall in memory of Aylsham

Runners at the Carwright 5k fundraiser at Blickling parkrun on September 11, 2021 - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Mrs Cartwright, who was head of Felbrigg House at the high school, was a key figure in the setting up of TACT.

Mollie White and Eleanor Bray host the Cartwright 5K park run at Blickling Hall in memory of Aylsham

Runners wearing yellow for the Cartwright 5k fundraiser - Credit: Sonya Duncan

"Cat was adorable, kind and loyal to the students. Her death has left a big void in Felbrigg House.

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"It is lovely ex-students were running in memory of her," added Mrs Wiseman, who said her friend had left a legacy for the school to fundraise for mental health support.

She said: "It is not a taboo subject."

Mollie White and Eleanor Bray host the Cartwright 5K park run at Blickling Hall in memory of Aylsham

Runners remembering former Aylsham High School teacher Catherine Cartwright at Blickling parkrun - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Outside of her school life, the former Felbrigg House head loved horse riding, the theatre and taking part in Blickling parkrun.

Mollie White (left) and Eleanor Bray (right)host the Cartwright 5K park run at Blickling Hall in mem

Mollie White (left) and Eleanor Bray (right) hosting the Cartwright 5k parkrun at Blickling Hall in memory of Aylsham High School teacher Catherine Cartwright - Credit: Sonya Duncan

To help fundraise for a garden at the high school where staff and pupils can reflect on their mental wellbeing, email twiseman@aylshamhigh.norfolk.sch.uk

Mollie White and Eleanor Bray host the Cartwright 5K park run at Blickling Hall in memory of Aylsham

People gather safely at the Cartwright 5k fundraiser at Blickling parkrun - Credit: Sonya Duncan

If you need help, contact the Samaritans on 116 123 or Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust’s First Response helpline on 0808 196 3494 both 24/7. Alternatively download the Stay Alive app, backed by Suffolk User Forum, if you are having thoughts of suicide or if you are concerned about someone else.



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