The South Shields teachers taking on Mount Everest by climbing the stairs at home

South Shields teachers are taking on the heights of Mount Everest from their own homes during the coronavirus lockdown.

Staff from Mortimer Community College are keeping themselves busy while the schools are closed by climbing the equivalent of the highest mountain in the world - using their only their own stairs.

More than 20 members of staff – joined by parents and students - have now signed up to take part in the challenge which they set themselves in a bid to raise much needed funds for a local food bank.

Launched on Monday, April 27 it will see them trekking up and down the stairs every day for the next four weeks until they reach the 8,848m summit.

Mr James Boyle.

There is no set distance to climb each day as long as all the participants get to the top by the end of the four weeks - with staff keeping track of how far everyone has climbed so far.

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Deputy head, Joanne Thornton - who initiated the challenge with teaching assistant Debra Layton - is already over halfway to the summit.

“Some of us are taking it quite seriously, but it’s not a race - we’re just having fun with it and making sure everyone is pushing on,” she said.

Deputy head, Mrs Joanne Thornton.

“Some of our families are sharing the steps within the household. As long as you get to the top we don’t really care - it’s really all about raising as much as we can for the food bank.”

Their efforts have so far raised more than £700 for the Key 2 Life food bank, which is based on Boldon Lane, South Shields.

Miss Debra Layton.

Staff at Mortimer have also been making protective visors in the school’s design and technology department to donate to the volunteers.

Mrs Thornton added: “We’re so proud of everyone for taking part. All of the staff always get on board with everything that we do as do our families, the response is always excellent.”

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Teachers from Mortimer Community College are climbing to the top of Mount Everest using the stairs.

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