A Proud and Poignant Week for the Wallace Community

Written by | Frontpage, Charity, News

A statement from the Principal

The community of Wallace continues to support, with enormous pride, the epic fundraising efforts of our 2 inspiring past pupils Andrea Harrower and Cathy Booth. Their pedal the periphery cycle last year raised an amazing £100,000 for NIPANC. 

The NIPANC Pedal the Periphery event is a charitable initiative aimed at raising funds and awareness for pancreatic cancer research. Participants cycle around the scenic periphery of Northern Ireland, uniting communities in support of those affected by this disease. It’s a powerful symbol of solidarity and hope.

NIPANC took on the challenge this year and organised teams of cyclists, many of whom are current Wallace parents or past pupils, to cycle the periphery of NI last weekend, ably supported by Cathy as a valued NIPANC Trustee and Andrea as a technical lead in the iconic purple VW Beetle. Mounted on the VW Beetle is her beloved husband Paddy’s bicycle, which reminds us all of the devastation of pancreatic cancer. Paddy was a much loved and respected member of the Wallace staff who was taken from us too soon by pancreatic cancer.

It really was a family affair, with Andrea and Cathy’s brother Adrian, also a proud past pupil, a member of the Wallace Enthuse team, and Jonny Reid, our newly appointed Pastoral Vice Principal, and long-time friend and colleague of Paddy, who led the Wallace Esperance Team to a series of remarkable personal achievements and a very impressive Team Esperance time for the periphery ride.

Mrs Sandra McCabe, the current Chairman of the Wallace High School and proud past pupil, who is soon handing over the baton of the Chairman role to Neal Lucas, former Head Boy, after more than a decade of leadership of the Board, also organised a team from Oasis Travel to pedal the periphery and raise funds for this very important cause. Sandra led that team cycling herself with great determination, her usual broad smile and cycling expertise! The Oasis family has been impacted widely by the loss of loved ones to pancreatic cancer, including Sandra’s brother Gary, a much-respected past pupil himself.

Our students in Wallace supported the Cycle the Periphery 2024 NIPANC challenge with a non-uniform day and the staff with a sponsored walk. We also proudly watched the herculean efforts of Paddy and Andrea’s two sons who pedalled their way around NI, Fraser, a past pupil, now studying at Queen’s University and Alex who is currently completing his GCSEs. Both boys continue to show amazing resilience, are fine young men, and are invested in the excellent work of NIPANC.

Poised to raise a similar total to the sisters’ amazing total last year, the Wallace community still has time to donate through the Esperance team link:


We wish Andrea and Cathy every success on Friday evening in the Spirit of NI Awards, in the category of ‘Spirit of Sport’ for which they have been deservedly shortlisted. Not only have they taken on adversity and brought hope (our school motto is Esperance), but have reminded us at Wallace, that together, as a community we do, can and will make a difference in whatever we set our minds to do together.

The Spirit of NI Awards celebrate the exceptional individuals across Northern Ireland who demonstrate extraordinary acts of kindness, resilience, and community spirit. These awards honour those who selflessly contribute to making a positive impact on the lives of others, whether through charitable endeavours, acts of bravery, or dedication to community service. By highlighting their stories, the Spirit of NI Awards inspire others to follow their example and foster a sense of unity and compassion within the community. These awards serve as a platform to recognise and celebrate the unsung heroes whose actions embody the true spirit of Northern Ireland.

Last modified: June 14, 2024