A team of 16 clinicians and staff who completed a 350-mile regional cycle challenge have raised £10,000 towards Southampton’s children’s emergency and trauma department appeal.
The event, known as Tour de Wessex, saw the team travel across the region to support the £2 million fundraising drive being led by Southampton Children’s Hospital Charity – part of Southampton Hospital Charity – and The Murray Parish Trust.
Donations will be match-funded by the government and a further £800,000 allocated by University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust to develop a new £4.8 million state-of-the-art facility at Southampton Children’s Hospital.
After embarking on the ride at the UHS open day earlier this month, the team travelled clockwise around the region, taking in stops at emergency departments in Bournemouth, Poole, Dorchester, Salisbury, Winchester, Basingstoke, Frimley Park, Worthing, Chichester, Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight.
Led by Dr Steve Black, a specialty doctor in emergency medicine at UHS, they arrived back at the emergency department in Southampton four days later, where they were met by colleagues, family and friends but with a further £2,000 to raise to hit target. Following donations made after their return, the team reached the £10,000 mark on Sunday.
“This was an amazing experience for a fantastic cause and I am so proud of my colleagues for their efforts in making the Tour de Wessex such a success,” he said.
“We experienced some tough conditions at times but worked as a team just as we do every day in the department to pull each other through and it is a great achievement to hit our target.”
Dr Black added: “The support from the region’s ED departments was phenomenal. Clinicians stayed late to cheer us in and some had even been doing their own bit of fundraising towards the appeal by running collections among staff and patients.
“We’d like to give special thanks to the paediatric intensive care unit team who loaned one of the unit’s former retrieval ambulances and the volunteers who drove for us.”
The team also received backing from Cycle Republic who contributed a support vehicle with mechanical assistance and Red Funnel Ferries who provided free passage from Cowes to Southampton and allowed the team to collect donations from passengers during the crossing.
For more information, visit http://www.southamptonhospitalcharity.org/appeals.