MARVELLOUS midwife Sarah Neal completed a 100k walk to keep Sir Captain Tom Moore’s memory alive and raise funds for the Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity.
In April 2020, Captain Tom began walking around his garden to thank our NHS heroes. An incredible 100 laps later, he’d raised £38.9 million for the NHS Charities Together urgent Covid-19 appeal. So to mark what would have been his 101st birthday earlier this year, the Captain Tom Foundation challenged fundraisers to take on their own ‘100 challenge.’
Sarah stepped up and completed 100 laps of Rotherham Hospital – the equivalent of more than 100k. She completed her final lap after 45 days and was greeted by her proud supporters as she reached the hospital’s Snowdrop memorial garden.
Sarah, who raised £594, said:
“When I saw Captain Tom’s family on TV encouraging people to celebrate what would have been his 101st birthday by doing a ‘100 challenge’ I thought completing 100 laps around Rotherham Hospital would be a great way to get out in the fresh air, to get active and to keep his legacy alive.
“It was much tougher than I expected, especially fitting laps in after my busy 12-hour night shifts and coping with the temperamental British weather. Thank goodness Captain Tom celebrated his birthday in April rather than November!
“It made me appreciate the hospital’s lovely green site. I spotted so many beautiful trees, flowers and wildlife during my walks – as well as my lovely colleagues. It was a great way to start and end my working day.
“It was emotional to see my family and colleagues cheering me on as I completed my final lap. I’m really proud to have raised so much for my local NHS charity.”
Thanks to Sir Tom’s incredible fundraising, the charity received £166,500 from the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 emergency appeal.
The charity utilised the funds to provide various projects and resources for staff and patients, including a wellbeing garden and woodland walk at Rotherham Hospital and goody bags to say ‘thank you’ to Trust colleagues for their hard work and dedication during the pandemic.
The funds raised by Sarah will be used to purchase Spring bulbs and plants for the new charity-funded Snowdrop memorial garden at Rotherham Hospital. The garden, funded by baby loss charity 4 Louis, provides a tranquil and beautiful space for staff, patients and visitors to remember their loved ones.
Suzanne Rutter, Charity Engagement and Development Manager, said:
“We are incredibly proud of Sarah for taking on such a tough Captain Tom 100 challenge. Completing 100 laps of our hospital site is no mean feat, especially fitting in walking 1k or more after a busy shift on the Wharncliffe ward caring for mothers and newborns.
“Fundraising during the Coronavirus pandemic has been tricky, but Sarah has shown that anything is possible. I’m sure she has inspired others to support their local NHS charity in future too.”