Students and staff at the Gorse Academies Trust in Leeds set to raise more than £10,000 for communities and schools in Malawi

More than 9,000 students and staff at an academies trust in Leeds are taking part in fundraising challenges in a bid to raise more than £10,000 to help communities and schools in an African country.

The Gorse Academies Trust is raising money for charity Inspire Malawi in tandem with encouraging children and teachers to be more active as part of the trust's 'Gorse Get Healthy Initiative.'

Staff and pupils at all nine Gorse primary and secondary academies in Leeds have been taking part in sponsored walks, runs, rowing challenges and cycle rides.

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Richmond Hill Academy took part in a lockdown cycle challenge and achieved their goal of covering the equivalent distance from Leeds to Malawi.

Students at Boston Spa Academy taking part in a rowing challenge to raise funds for Inspire Malawi.

Richmond Hill Academy principal Anna McKenzie was due to run in the cancelled London Marathon in April to raise funds for the charity.

Former Richmond Hill Academy PE teacher Michelle Rowe started charity Inspire Malawi in 2010.

She said spending her 2003 gap year volunteering in Malawi changed her life.

Miss Rowe lived there for almost three years and started fundraising and taking volunteers out to Malawi before starting the charity.

Former Richmond Hill Academy PE teacher Michelle Rowe, who started charity Inspire Malawi in 2010, is pictured (left) with Cheryl Rhodes, partnership director of sport, PE and health at The Gorse Academies Trust.

The charity has developed several schools in rural Malawi with projects including building classrooms, toilets, boreholes, libraries, gardens and funding teacher training.

Cheryl Rhodes, partnership director of sport, PE and health at The Gorse Academies Trust, runs the 'Gorse Get Healthy Initiative' and has orchestrated fundraising activities across the trust.

Miss Rhodes said: "We have been involved in helping Inspire Malawi change lives within schools in Malawi and at the same time we have been able to improve our overall physical and mental wellbeing through the challenges we have taken part in.

"The students have really enjoyed supporting Inspire Malawi and they have really engaged in the physical challenges they have faced."

Miss Rhodes' has been nominated in the national Fundraiser of the Year competition for her efforts co-ordinating the trust's fundraising.

You can vote by following @inspire_malawi on Twitter or via @CharityAwards on Twitter.

Voting closes on Sunday July 4.

For more information about the charity, go to www.inspiremalawi.com