TWO friends are running a half marathon to raise money to help children thousands of miles away.

Teacher Gregg Weaver and his friend Vandi Rathbone have been supporting the Porridge and Pens charity.

The charity was set up by two Brightlingsea residents, who helped build the Brightlingsea Free School in Mampongteng in Ghana.

Mr Weaver, who is also from Brightlingsea, wanted to get involved and help fundraise so children with special needs could have their own classroom at the school.

They need to raise about £6,000 to build the new classroom.

Mr Weaver, who works at a school in Ipswich, said: “The school in Ghana has just built some new classrooms and there is an orphanage nearby with children with special needs.

“We wanted to open the school up to them and so we are going out there for a week to help out.

“We will then run the half marathon there so it’s going to be a bit intense.”

Mr Weaver said he visited Kenya about five years ago and wanted to go back to a similar area to help out as the need there is unbelievable.

He said his students, who are five, are all behind him.

He added: “One of the students brought in some pencils he had collected as he knows the children out there don’t have pencils to use.”

The teacher said he does not class himself as a runner but tries to fit it in around working at the school.

The friends will leave for Ghana on October 22 and will spend some time helping out at the school before running the half marathon on the October 28.

They have been holding regular fundraisers including a Brightlingsea Tea Party and have set up a fundraising page.

To donate to their appeal, visit To find out more about the school visit