My Challenge – Clare Grainger

I am a Headteacher in a local primary school and have worked for Barnsley Council for 13 years.  My job has provided me with many challenges over the years but it is a job which I thoroughly enjoy.  I believe strongly in the power of team work and could not have achieved what I have without the fantastic team that I work with.

I am currently 42 years old (just) and expecting my first baby which is due this week!  I am a relatively fit individual who enjoys exercise in the form of netball, running, spinning, mountain biking, skiing and snowboarding.  In fact I am still spinning much to the dismay of the gym instructors at Bannatyne’s Gym, one of who thanked me for not breaking my waters in his class last week!

I come from an ‘outdoor family’ and have been encouraged from a very young age to love the great outdoors.  Family camping holidays, biking excursions, snow holidays and walking still feature prominently in our free time.

Each year I love a personal challenge – a trait I inherit from my dad whom I am very proud of for cycling up Mount Ventoux in France at the age of 66!  In recent years my friend and colleague Lucy Horne has been ‘persuaded’ to join me on several challenges and despite initial doubts she always enjoys our adventures in the end.

Hopefully this will be true of the Kilimanjaro Trek or I could be in trouble and be looking for both a new friend and Assistant Headteacher!

The challenges I have participated in over the years have led me to enter long distance races (many of which have involved fund raising for Cancer Research), take up new sports and work in an African Orphanage/Childrens’ Home for the Summer holidays in 2009.  All the challenges I have undertaken have taught me something about myself and I believe they have made me a stronger, but more importantly a better person.

My time in South Africa probably changed me the most and made me realise that relationships and our health are the most important things in the world and I will never forget the huge smiles on the faces of terminally ill children who literally have nothing but each other.  People, for me, are the key to fulfilment not material possessions and I think we should all give a little of our time to support others.

It is because of this, my love of a challenge and the fact that I have been deeply affected by a loved one experiencing Cancer that I am so determined to complete the Kilimanjaro Trek.  I know it will not be easy – I’m sure I’ll find it really hard to leave my baby for 10 days, I’ll hate the lack of showering and hair straightening facilities and the dreaded altitude sickness but I am going to give 100% to the challenge, raise money for Barnsley Hospice a truly worthy cause and make it to the top!

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About Ken Eastwood

Director Digital Nomads. Consultant in mobile & flexible working, digital innovation, transformation and new workstyles. Former Assistant Director in local government (26 year sector experience). www.digitalnomads.co & www.publicsectornomads.com
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