THE Royal Manchester Children's Hospital Charity launched has launched its new fundraising initiative for schools – Miles4Smiles.

Former international athlete, Diane Modahl, launched the event at Stretford's Victoria Park Infant School. Diane is best known for her Commonwealth Games gold in the 800 metres.

Miles4Smiles ties in fundraising for Royal Manchester Children's Hospital Charity with increasing pupils' physical activity.

Schools signing up for Miles4Smiles select a distance that one of Royal Manchester Children's Hospital's patients would travel to the hospital in a week.

Pupils would then cover that same distance at their school by counting steps as they walk or simply stepping on the spot.

The Miles4Smiles challenge can be undertaken indoors or out and can be completed over several weeks, a term or an academic year, depending on the distance selected.

At Victoria Park, the morning started with a special assembly when children were told all about what the hospital does for poorly children. Diane then held a question and answer session before going to the start line to begin laps of the school yard.

Diane said: "It was a fantastic morning and the pupils were so enthusiastic about why the school is taking part in Miles4smiles; they are a credit to the school."

Angela Rowe, community fundraising manager, said: "We are extremely pleased Victoria Park wanted to be involved in our launch event.

"Miles4smiles is a fundraising initiative which looks to build a more meaningful relationship between the schools taking part and the work the charity does."

Debbie Vrlec, head teacher at Victoria Park, added: "Miles4Smiles is such an exciting way to build on the school's relationship with Royal Manchester Children's Hospital.

"It is a great way to complement our school's physical activity policy but most importantly the children had a fantastic time."

Miles4Smiles is a fundraising event that can take part at any time to suit a school's timetable.

For more information, contact Angela Rowe on 0161 901 5258 or