World Record debate boosts fundraising for Barts Charity

Fundraising nurse Jessica Anderson received donations from across the globe after running the London Marathon in her nurses’ scrubs and becoming the centre of a debate about #WhatNursesWear.

The Royal London Hospital nurse Jessica Anderson ran the London Marathon for Barts Charity, the dedicated charity of Barts Health NHS Trust, who have supported her team on the Acute Admissions Unit by funding equipment like dementia friendly clocks and a bladder scanner.

World Record debate boosts fundraising for Barts Charity
Jessica Anderson running the London Marathon

Jessica decided to run the marathon in her nurse uniform – blue scrubs. She finished the race in a remarkably fast time of 3:08:22 which beat the previous world record holder for ‘fastest marathon in nurses uniform’. However, Guinness World Records didn’t initially allow the attempt, because Jessica’s outfit didn’t meet their criteria for a nurse’s uniform, which needed to be a dress, an apron and a traditional cap.

Following an article about the record attempt in Runner’s World, Twitter got behind Jessica, including celebrity supporters Simon Mayo, Sanjeev Bhaskar and Judy Murray. Guinness World Records were branded ‘outdated’ and ‘sexist.’ The Student Nurse Project encouraged hundreds of nurses to post selfies in their uniforms and the story quickly went viral, with #WhatNursesWear trending on Twitter. Mainstream press across the globe picked up the story, including the BBC, CNN and the New York Times.

Guinness World Records have now reviewed their criteria and in a statement, announced that they are awarding Jessica with the Guinness World Records title for the fastest marathon wearing a nurse’s uniform.

Donations poured in and Jessica’s fundraising was boosted by 900%, currently standing at over £5,600. Her JustGiving page features messages of support from across the globe.

Jessica said:

“The reaction’s been unbelievable, I couldn’t have predicted this was going to happen. I’m just really happy that it’s been reviewed and the massive boost it’s given to the charity as well.”

Clare Chater, Director of Engagement and Fundraising at Barts Charity added:

“Not only did Jess run 26.2 miles in record-breaking time, but she also raised a huge amount for her hospital charity and smashed stereotypes in the process. We’re delighted she got the recognition she deserved. Jess is proof that not all heroes wear capes – some of them wear scrubs!”

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