Battling the wind, rain and Devon hills is a challenge for many, but keen runners Chris Watson and Leanne Aston have dedicated themselves to tackling what Exeter and the surrounding countryside throws at them by taking on the Great West Run half marathon in aid of us. The Great West Run draws thosuands of runners to Exeter and is a highlight in the Devon running calendar. 

Motivation is key to completing a long distance event, such as the Great West Run, and Leanne and Chris have told us raising money to support our students gives them that motivation to take that next step.

Leanne is one of our Student Care Officers and has first-hand experience of the work we do, she said, “Seeing the support and influence that staff have on the students here made me want to raise money to support the new build and provide even better opportunities”.

Chris also shares connections with us as his wife Cath works as our Admissions Administrator. Chris told us, “I hear regularly of the great work Exeter Deaf Academy does such as work in their sensory pod and helping young people from across the country to gain places at the school where they receive the specialist education they deserve”.

The Great West Run takes place on Sunday 16 October and will see over 3000 runners of all levels take to the streets of Exeter City Centre, running a 13.1 mile course which takes in the University, the beautiful country lanes of St Andrews Road and the roads towards Stoke Woods.

Our runners have been training hard for the event with both choosing to run along the river Exe and Exeter canal which sit just metres away from our campus. Though Leanne and Chris have attempted running events before, the Great West Run is a very important date for them as they aim to break personal records and raise as much money as possible to help change the lives of Deaf children.

Chris continued, “I think it’s surprising that the Deaf Academy is not funded in the same way as state schools and therefore needs fundraising to help keep it going. It’s a good local worthy cause worth shouting about.”

Sponsor Leanne
Sponsor Chris

If you’d like more information on how you can support us please contact our Fundraising Team on