Emotional day as Kettering teacher with MS completes 10K walk she was told she’d never be able to do

Melanie Jolliffe with colleagues from Kettering Science Academy in London
Melanie Jolliffe with colleagues from Kettering Science Academy in London

A teacher with multiple sclerosis was left feeling ‘incredibly emotional’ after finishing a 10K walk which she was told she would never be able to do.

Melanie Jolliffe from Kettering Science Academy led a team of six colleagues on a 10K challenge walk and together they have raised more than £1,700 for the MS Society.

Melanie Jolliffe with colleagues from Kettering Science Academy at the walk

Melanie Jolliffe with colleagues from Kettering Science Academy at the walk

Miss Jolliffe decided to take on the challenge, with the support of her colleagues at the academy, after being diagnosed with MS at the age of 18.

The condition has limited her ability to walk over the years and Miss Jolliffe finds it hard to walk long distances.

But she was determined to take on the challenge for the society.

Ahead of the walk, Miss Jolliffe, 30, said: “My friends and my physio of three years, have made this challenge possible for me and have been so supportive of my progress.”

Crossing the finishing line was incredibly emotional, it was something I was told I would never be able to accomplish

Melanie Jolliffe

The team included head of expressive arts Julia Mallard, PE teacher Liam Feely, science teacher Sophie George, SENCO and English teacher Kayleigh-Jay Incles, teaching assistant Claire Siddall and vice principal Kirsty Farrar and her daughter, India.

They joined hundreds of other people on the challenge walk which took place on Sunday alongside the Thames in London.

After the event, she admitted that the experience had been emotional and especially as she made it to the finish line with her team mates.

Miss Jolliffe said: “It is hard to put into words what it was like to complete the walk.

“I get rather emotional when I think about it, not only because it was one of the hardest things I have ever done, but because of the amazing team that did the walk with me.”

She added: “Around kilometre 7 my legs were ready to give up, but my team lifted my spirits and stood beside me and kept me going, sometimes literally holding me up to give my legs that little break they needed.

“I didn’t finish in a record time, but I finished and that is what matters.

“Crossing the finish line was incredibly emotional, it was something I was told I would never be able to accomplish and to share it with such incredible people was amazing.”

MS is a neurological condition which affects about 100,000 people in the UK.

For more information about the MS Society, go to www.mssociety.org.uk.