Wayne is a teacher at Darwen Vale High School and a Community Ambassador for Derian House.
Around 15 years ago, he kick started a fundraising tradition at the high school that over the last decade has raised over £50,000 for Derian House.
Over the years, Wayne has inspired hundreds of young people to take part in the annual all-day, non-stop, army-style circuit training challenge.
“Our first ever circuit training day started with just a group of six kids and we managed to raise about £100 for Derian House.” Said Wayne. “As the years went on more and more students wanted to join in – and the kids just took hold of it.
“Now it has become a part of the school calendar – it’s a tradition. The staff join in too. It’s amazing that so many young people want to get involved, and for a good cause too.
“On the day, we get to the sports hall at 8:45am. We’ve all got our Derian House t-shirts on and the chairs and benches are all set out. And we get started – we do press ups, sit ups, that kind of thing – and we don’t stop until the end of the day.
“The young people that aren’t able to do the circuit training will do something else. Whether it’s swimming or walking their dog – just any physical activity. One young person even did 1000 slam dunks!
“One year one of the kids wore the Derian Danni costume – he was loving it, moonwalking and everything. Then after a while he sat down so I went to check if he was okay. As soon as I got over there he said ‘I think I’m going to be sick’.
“His friend had been there with him the whole time, so I asked why he hadn’t checked on him. He said that he thought he was okay because the costume was smiling!” Laughed Wayne.
“It’s just kids doing something for kids.” Said Wayne “The challenge for Derian has become one of the biggest moments of the year. Students remember it – they’ll write about in their leaver’s books.”
Wayne has arranged a great number of visits to the hospice where his pupils see first-hand what Derian House does and why it is so important to continue raising funds.
“We visit Derian every year and they get to see for themselves what the hospice does for its families.” Said Wayne, “The kids always say to me ‘It’s such a happy place.’
“I remember one time we visited the hospice at least 10 years ago. A parent was there with their child. They saw the kids and said ‘thanks for everything you do. This is who you’re doing it for.’ You know, it really brought it home for them.
“A month later the kids did the circuit training challenge and I think it spurred them on.” Said Wayne, “Staff from Derian always come and support us too. And that particular year, all the kids ran over to them to ask how that family was. It had really got to them.
“Some youngsters have known young people that have been at Derian House too. It gives them a real story they can associate with Derian and what we were doing for the hospice.
“They are just very proud caring kids. It really strikes a chord. I have a lot of fun memories taking part in the challenge and I know the kids do too.
“I’m just proud of it, of them, and of what Derian does.”