St Swithun’s headmistress raises money for girls in care by running the 33-mile St Swithun’s Way

10 May 2020

Headmistress of St Swithun’s, Winchester, Jane Gandee is running 33 miles to raise money for the Bramston Bursary Foundation which provides life-changing opportunities for children in care or on the brink of care. She is spearheading the St Swithun’s Way Challenge in which the whole school community and the employees of local businesses are invited to run or walk 33, 18, nine or three mile courses along the long distance path between Winchester and Farnham in Hampshire. Jane Gandee hopes the event, on 22 September, will raise £20,000.

‘The Bramston Bursary Foundation was established in the name of Anna Bramston who founded St Swithun’s in 1884 with the vision to provide talented and hard-working girls, irrespective of background, with the opportunity to reach their full potential through education. The Foundation aims to provide two full life-changing transformational bursaries every year to girls in care, or on the brink of care but living at home, whom our partner charity and local authority experts believe would thrive emotionally and academically in the stability of a St Swithun’s boarding education’ said Jane Gandee. ‘The school match-funds all donations raised through the Bramston Bursary Foundation so if we reach the £20,000 target for the St Swithun’s Way Challenge, £40,000 will go into the Foundation.’ The annual fundraising target for the Bramston Bursary Foundation is £250,000.

Jane Gandee is a keen sportswoman, having represented Cambridge at athletics and cross country and captained the university’s women’s football team. She has been involved with the Winchester and District Athletics Club (WADAC) since taking up her position at St Swithun’s in 2010.

She said ‘Pupils, siblings, staff, alumni, current and former parents, family and friends have signed up to take part in the challenge which culminates with a celebration in the school grounds. Local businesses can also take part by contacting the school office.’ The Winchester office of investment management company Rathbones is sponsoring part of the event.

Looking forwards, Jane Gandee said ‘Running 33 miles over the mixed terrain of the St Swithun’s Way is an enormous personal challenge as I have never run anything like this distance before. However, both the beautiful Surrey and Hampshire countryside and this particular fundraising cause are hugely motivational. Our aim is to offer a demanding but achievable option for everyone who wants to take part. I am looking forward to an exhausting and uplifting day and raising lots of money for the Bramston Bursary Foundation.’