Whilst the country suffered the grief of losing the Queen on September 8th last year, it was a day of double loss for one member of the school community at Farrington Gurney C of E Primary School.

Year 4 pupil Zeta also lost her much-loved grandfather on the same day. He was taken ill very suddenly and both the road ambulance and Wiltshire Air Ambulance came to assist, however, despite their valiant efforts they couldn’t save him.

As a member of the school council - Farrington Forum - Zeta proposed giving back to the air ambulance by means of organising a Santa Dash. The Forum, who run with the guidance of teacher Heather Mason, thought it was a great idea and organised the whole event. The entire school sought sponsorship, then on a wet December day, dressed in Santa hats, the children completed the dash around the village playing fields.

Zeta’s mother Deborah said: “Farrington Gurney Primary teach compassion as one of its core values and from this sad event there was some good to be had. The school only has one hundred pupils, but raised over £1,500 for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance in only six weeks! This is a great achievement for such a small school - well done to all.”

Wiltshire Air Ambulance’s Hollie Newhook, Community Engagement and Volunteer Coordinator, said: “We are extremely grateful to everyone at Farrington Gurney for their £1563.10 donation.

“As a charity, it costs £4 million a year to keep Wiltshire Air Ambulance’s lifesaving service operational, the equivalent of just over £11,000 per day. We receive no regular direct Government funding or National Lottery grants, so rely on generous donations from the public, community groups and local businesses.”