Over 200 children took part in the first-ever Mini Gherkin Challenge for the NSPCC by walking up the stairs in their five-storey school in Bethnal Green, London. The William Davis Primary School pupils had worked out that walking from the bottom of the school to the top eight times equalled the number of steps in the Gherkin and, with 14 adults from the school signed up for the main Gherkin Challenge, the children's families sponsored them to do the climb the day after the main event. They did varying amounts - the nursery took big steps around the playground, Reception, Years 1 and 2 walked from the ground floor to the top once, the children from Years 3, 4 and 5 did it as many times as they could (some did it seven times) and Year 6 did eight consecutive journeys so that each of them reached 'the top of the Gherkin' in one go (on top of their usual journeys up to their classrooms) - yes, it's a fit school!
Having been on the organising committee of the main event and the creator of this one I attended both, but at the building itself I spent the whole day signing '360˚ at the Gherkin' books and congratulating people and missed my chance to do the climb - what would I say to the people who had sponsored me? I decided to count my steps during the Mini Gherkin Challenge while accompanying all the different classes and, by the end of the day, found I had walked up the equivalent of more than three Gherkins (and walked down as well) so my conscience is clear (and my legs are killing me!)
Through their steps the William Davis children and adults have raised over £2,000 for the NSPCC (I'll put the exact total in after fundraising closes on October 7th). AMAZING!