Last month, our very own sporting heroes at Askam United FC and Askam Rugby Club pledged to run 1,500 miles and cycle 2,500 miles in 30 days in support of NHS workers at Furness General Hospital.

The clubs rose magnificently to the challenge, with 80 members taking part including juniors, with some as young as 5 years old adding miles to the total. From an original target of £500 their incredible efforts raised a fantastic £5,015, which will go towards staff welfare in this difficult time as we continue to battle Coronavirus.

Fundraiser Kyle Jefferson of Askam FC said, “We knew straight away that we wanted to raise money to help the staff at Furness General. As we sat at home moaning about being in lockdown, we saw those people going into the hospital every day; people we will be indebted to for the rest of our lives. It was the least we could do, and it was a real community effort - we had support from all over the area, Walney, Barrow, Cartmel, Ulverston, Dalton just to name a few.”

Kyle also had a more personal reason for taking on the challenge: “My mum recently suffered a stroke and was cared for by the NHS, and so I felt I needed to say thank you, and give something back. Our NHS workers really are showing incredible levels of commitment and professionalism through an incredibly tough period, and it makes me proud to support such a first class health service.”

During the challenge there were some personal milestones for many taking part, for example Zach Martin who completed 30 runs in 30 days; Russ Bolton who cycled over 600 miles; and Mark ‘Jugger’ Coulson, who completed a marathon run after suffering a traumatic injury on his bike, and undergoing two years of training and recovery.

David Wilkinson, Director of People at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay, said, “Coronavirus has completely changed the way many of us work, and has taken its toll on colleagues across the hospital, both physically and mentally. However, the heartfelt love and support that has been shown by our local community has been overwhelming. We would like to say a huge thank you to the Askam teams for their support and fundraising efforts. 

“To make sure that we are providing the right support where it’s needed most, we have asked all colleagues and volunteers for their suggestions on what would make the biggest difference.”

Bay Hospitals Charity is a registered charity which raises money to improve patient care and the hospital and community experience across University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust. By donating to Bay Hospitals Charity you can fund the latest equipment and help make your local hospitals more comfortable, ensuring you and your loved ones get the best possible care and treatment.