The #Penrice3580 Fun Run

Penrice Academy Students Raise £12,000 in just FOUR WEEKS.09022017KR - Penrice 3580 Fun Run (5) (800x533)

On Thursday 9th February 2017, over 700 students from all years at Penrice Academy took part in a Sponsored Fun Run – the first whole school event supporting the school’s International Charity Project, #Penrice3580.

The Fun Run was the culmination of a month of fundraising – resulting in a staggering total of £12,000, with donations still coming in.

The mission; to send a shipping container with clothes, toys, school and medical equipment to children in Kissi Town, Sierra Leone, Africa, working closely with Project 3580.

Project 3580

Project 3580 was founded by Neil Morland, a former colleague of Assistant Principal at Penrice, Mr Knipe.

Mr Knipe said: “Having approached the Academy Council with the suggestion that the school supports the work of Project 3580 over the coming year, I was inspired by their enthusiasm and knew instantly we could make a huge difference.”

In the first assemblies of 2017, students of all ages at Penrice were given the challenge of fundraising inside and outside of school and spreading the word of the project across Cornwall, with the aim to raise as much at the Fun Run as possible.

Since those assemblies, students have been collecting sponsorship money, organising raffles and cake sales, buying T shirts and signing up for the Fun Run – with many donating their own pocket money to the cause.

And the total just keeps rising.

Mr Knipe said: “I am truly astounded by the commitment and passion and love and drive that our students have shown these last four weeks. Above all else, January 2017 proved what a difference a community can make if they put their minds to it.”

“Bryn Wallis from Year 10 organised a break time Cake Sale with Kernow Kakery, which raised over £250 in half an hour. Two different Tutor Groups raised over £500 each for the Fun Run and local organisations such as the Lions Club of St Austell have donated. It’s just incredible.”

“One boy in Year 7 brought in £107. He had gone round all the houses on his road and told them about the project and his community were more than happy to help.”

The Fun Run

Dressed in everything from onesies and superhero costumes to sharp suits and official #Penrice3580 T-shirts, the students tackled the 3580 metre Fun Run course around the field with pride.

Armed with ski poles and a determination to make it round the course, Geography Teacher Mr Banfield kicked off the event at 7am, strapped to skis made by the Design Technology Department.

Mr Banfield said: “This really is a whole school community event and I was just happy to play my part, share the spirit of the day and support what is an incredibly worthwhile charity that will change lives. It was also great to make a few people laugh along the way!”09022017KR - Penrice 3580 Fun Run (10) (800x533)

Gabe Connolly, Head Boy at Penrice, told BBC Radio Cornwall: “Year 11 are approaching the end of our education; something we have to do, an opportunity handed to us on a plate. It’s so important we start to think beyond our own education and consider the wider world. We have shown we can make a difference on a global scale which is a huge deal for the school and I’m so proud to be a part of it.”

Charlie Monk, Deputy Head Boy and Academy Council member, said: “To hear the younger students talking – as they ran – about the difference they’re going to make to the lives of children in Kissi Town, discussing the fact that the run symbolises the walk children in Sierra Leone have to do every day just to get to school, was so inspiring.”

Gabe concluded: “This, so far, has been a project to be proud of. And we’re just getting started.”


A message from Neil Morland, Founder of Project 3580

“Today has been a humbling day knowing that Penrice Academy has become so  involved with Project 3580. The money you have raised is a truly life changing sum and it just shows the power of humanity. I am in awe of you.”


A message from Denis Afotey (Pastor of Kissi Town School)

“We are so grateful for your efforts and Kissi Town will never forget your struggle to help upgrade our school and community. I will share the good news to everyone in Kissi Town and look forward to meeting your teachers in April. Thank you and blessings to you all.”



Changing Lives

Based in a refugee camp in Kissi Town, Sierra Leone, the Project will help with the refurbishment of the local school and provide much needed medical supplies for the community.

In the first year of charity support in the town, the number of children under the age of 10 who had died from malaria – a preventable disease – totalled 3580. It was this number that inspired the name of the project, which initially aimed to raise enough money to buy 3580 mosquito nets.IMG_9151 (800x533)

Mr Knipe is returning to Sierra Leone in Easter 2017 and taking along English Teachers Mr Johnson and Miss Cox, to take word of the charity efforts and personally present them with letters from students at Penrice to help really connect with the children of Kissi Town.

Miss Cox has been tackling a challenge of her own – eating ‘under the poverty line’ for 5 days. She’s raised over £250 herself, running the Fun Run in the same week.

She said: “This week has been tough but that’s what it’s all about – supporting an international charity like this takes hard work, commitment and passion and I’m really happy to be a part of it. I can’t wait to get out there and meet the children whose lives we are changing here in Cornwall.”

As well as the money raised, the Academy has also filled the huge homemade box full of clothes, toys and school equipment – the first collection destined to fill the shipping container at the end of the year.

Mr Knipe concluded: “This really is just the beginning. We have summer fates, gigs and shows in mind – not to mention our Charity Week in March, run by the Council, which will see students once again come together and raise as much as they can… and Year 11 will play 24 hours of sport. If we can raise over £12,000 in just one month, who knows what we can do next term.”

“It is an honour to work with these young people. I can’t wait to see what they do next.”

See pictures from the Fun Run in our gallery

Read the Media Team’s interview with Mr Banfield here.

Watch out for the official video from the Student Media Team, coming next term.

  • If you want to be a part of #Penrice3580 or find out further information, you can contact Mr Knipe on

  • If you would like to help support Penrice Academy and Project 3580, or would like to know more, please contact Assistant Principal Chris Knipe on or Penrice Academy Media Manager, Kyle Reed on
  • A short video outlining early stages of project 3580 from Great Barr School can be seen here.
  • Follow and share our progress on Facebook and Twitter, using the hashtag #Penrice3580
    You can help right now – visit our Just Giving page