A seven person team aboard HMS Audacious swapped the sea for land earlier this month to race in the Great North Run and raise £2,700 for The Sick Children’s Trust.
LET Turnbull, LET Mchugh, LET Thomson, SLT Head, ET Stewart, ET Jones and ET Mcclymont have spent the last few months juggling their naval duties with training for the 13.1 mile route from Newcastle upon Tyne to South Shields to raise money for families with seriously ill children in hospital.
Those among HMS Audacious have been long-term supporters of The Sick Children’s Trust after two officers’ families benefitted from the charity’s free ‘Home from Home’ accommodation in Newcastle.
The Sick Children’s Trust runs ten ‘Homes from Home’ across the country, supporting families with seriously ill children in hospital with free accommodation just minutes from their child’s hospital bedside. Officers from the ship have actively supported the charity’s Crawford House, located at the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) by decorating, attending fundraising events and latterly raising money by taking part in the Great North Run. LET Turnbull says:
“Training was quite a challenge with juggling a busy work schedule and pushing HMS Audacious out of build. We trained whenever we could, mainly running on treadmills that are provided at work. On the day, a lot of the lads set off at 3am to get to the start line on time and most of them drove straight back afterwards. Everyone did brilliantly, and knowing who we were helping by taking on this challenge helped keep us motivated.
“We started supporting The Sick Children’s Trust when a previous officer’s son underwent treatment at the RVI and he was given free ‘Home from Home’ accommodation at the charity’s Crawford House. When he left the boat and I joined I wanted to make sure we continued to support the charity as my family used Crawford House years ago when my brothers on two separate occasions fell ill with meningitis.
“Everyone at HMS Audacious thinks the work of The Sick Children’s Trust is so important. Being away from your family can be challenging, however having a poorly child in hospital and not being able to be by their side is unbearable. Crawford House makes it possible for families to be just minutes from their seriously ill child while they are undergoing treatment at the RVI. The accommodation is comfortable, warm and the closest thing to a ‘Home from Home’. As a team, we wanted to support the charity by raising money so it can continue to support families in the most traumatic times. We are always willing to go along and decorate, or help in whatever way we can and will continue to do so.”
Crawford House is one of two ‘Homes from Home’ in Newcastle supporting families across the North East and beyond when their children require specialist treatment. Crawford House has 23 family bedrooms, 14 bathrooms and shared living spaces including a kitchen, lounge room and dining room. House Manager, Gail Stonley, told Charity Today News:
“On behalf of all the families we support we’d like to say a huge thank you to HMS Audacious for their efforts. To have somewhere, warm and homely to come back to after a long day on the ward, where parents can make themselves a home cooked meal and have privacy in their own room makes a world of difference to their well-being.
“As a charity we rely entirely on voluntary donations to keep our houses running, so whether it’s decorating or raising money through the Great North Run, it helps us to be there for families when they need us the most.”
For further information about The Sick Children’s Trust, please visit http://www.sickchildrenstrust.org/