Monkwearmouth Academy pupils get Pretty Muddy to raise money for Cancer Research UK in memory of teaching “legend” Liz Graham

Children and staff at Monkwearmouth Academy have raised nearly £750 for a cancer charity in honour of a “much loved teacher” who sadly passed away from breast cancer last month.

Thursday, 7th October 2021, 2:16 pm

Physical Education teacher, Liz Graham, 66, worked at the school for 30 years and was well known in the local community for being “a larger than life character” and teaching thousands of children to swim.

In memory of Liz, 30 pupils and 12 staff took part in the Pretty Muddy event in Newcastle to raise money for Cancer Research UK and raised an additional £145 through a school bake sale.

Year 11 pupil Millie Wright said: “Miss Graham was a very kind and helpful woman. She was always there to help and the only swimming teacher I knew so I learnt everything from her. She was always smiling and I always went to her if I felt sad and wanted to talk.”

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Students from Monkwearmouth Academy have taken part in a Pretty Muddy event in Newcastle in memory of PE teacher Liz Graham who sadly died from breast cancer. (Left to right) pupils Lexi Conlon, Charlie Walker, Nia Watson, Olivia Maxfield, Chloe Phipps, Lily Swalwell, Archie Cattenach.

Classmate Grace Brewerton, 15, added: “She was a friend as well as a teacher. So kind and always available. She was an amazing swimming teacher and used to take me on swim trips and competitions. If it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t have learnt to love swimming. We miss her a lot.”

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The event was organised by Assistant Headteacher Iain Buddle.

Mr Buddle said: "We wanted to do something active in recognition of Liz’s role as a PE teacher. Students and staff wanted to raise money and to show how much Liz meant to them.

Monkwearmouth Academy PE teacher Liz Graham shares a joke with a student. Liz, 66, sadly passed away last month having been diagnosed with breast cancer.

"She was such a larger than life character and you really notice when she’s not in the building anymore. She was a very caring teacher who inspired so many children.

"She was full of energy and always had a story to tell about her life. The kids called her a legend.”

During her final days, Liz received support from Maggie’s in Newcastle, a charity which provides help to patients and families who’ve received a cancer diagnosis.

Year 9 pupils Lexi Conlon (left) and Nia Watson after taking part in the Pretty Muddy event.

Liz’s daughter Victoria Grundy has set up a JustGiving page in memory of her mother and to raise money for the centre.

She stated: “Maggie’s is a very special place for our family. Both my dad and I are on a cancer journey too. This is the most amazing place and I know how my mum was happy when she visited Maggie’s.”

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