Help us celebrate 72 years of our NHS

This year has shown just how much we all value our NHS. For the last 72 years, the NHS and its dedicated staff have cared for our families and loved ones, and the NHS will continue to be here for all of us whenever we need it.

With your help, we can ensure that our family of NHS hospitals continue to deliver the very best treatment, research and care for the 2.5 million patients, young and old, and their families, that we care for each year.

We hope that you will get involved and help us mark this very special occasion by raising funds for our family of NHS hospitals, located across Manchester and Trafford. Will you take on a challenge to raise £72 – £1 for each year of the NHS?

For inspiration, read through the stories of incredible supporters taking on challenges in support further down this page. You can tie your fundraising activity into the 72 theme, but this isn’t mandatory, and you can adapt your challenge to any age or ability – you really can challenge yourself to do anything! You can also find more ways to get involved on our handy ideas list.

Remember to share your challenges with us on social media and use the hashtag #72for72NHS so that others can find and support your efforts. You can also share your support with your local community by downloading our rainbow colouring sheet to print off and put up at home!


Team PED Swap Stethoscopes for Sweatbands

Team PED Swap Stethoscopes for Sweatbands

The staff at the Paediatric Emergency Department (PED) at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital have set themselves challenges themed around the number 72 to complete throughout August.

While some are running or cycling 72 miles or kilometres over the course of the month, others have set themselves daily challenges such as 72 squats or 72 sit ups.

PED’s Modern Matron Sue Rothwell said: “Although the actual challenge you choose is a solo activity, it’s really brought us together as a team – everyone taking part encourages each other and we’re always sending updates and photos to the WhatsApp group we’ve set up for it.

“Of course we don’t do any of it on the ward or during work, so some people have been getting up really early to get their challenge in before their shift starts.

“It’s really pleasing that so many people have jumped at the chance to take part.”

While a lot of the challenges are exercise-based, some are aimed at becoming healthier both physically and mentally. One fundraiser has set herself the task of drinking 72 litres of water throughout the month while another team member is making 72 “little bags of happiness” to gift to people who might benefit from a mood boost.

Sue, whose challenge is to do a different 72-themed activity every day, said: “It’s really lovely seeing all the pictures everyone has taken of their challenges.

“Someone started a #SprogsandDogs hashtag on the WhatsApp chat so there are a LOT of cute pictures of children and pets wearing their Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity T-shirt…..even a snake got involved.

“We set up the fundraising page in the hope we’d raise £7,200 but we smashed through the halfway mark in the first week and we’re almost at our target now which is incredible. The support we’ve had from our own families and the families of our patients has been wonderful and we’re so please lots of supporters have got behind what we’re doing.”

Georgia Sleigh, one of the Charity’s Community Fundraising Officers, said: “Team PED have done a fantastic job and seeing all their photographs has been lovely.

“There might be a few achy legs at the end of the month, but they’ll know it’s been worth it for a cause close to their hearts.”

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72-Minute Workout

72-Minute Workout

Ben Cross and children Charlie and Dexter took on a 72-minute-long workout – burpees, lunges, press ups, you name it! They were all exhausted by the end, but really happy they’d been able to complete a great challenge for charity.

To add to that, Ben took on an additional challenge – 72 minutes of continuous chest to floor burpees. He managed a whopping 818!

Find out more and support their challenge.

Valley Mill Lane’s Month of Challenges

Valley Mill Lane’s Month of Challenges

They say that “charity begins at home” and for this group of fundraisers that’s certainly true!

The residences of Valley Mill Lane in Bury have clubbed together to raise money for Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity – with events ranging from dog walking to a 72-mile cycle and even one resident challenging himself to eat 72 hotdogs!

The group have been inspired to do their challenges after hearing about teenage resident Molly and the care she has received at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

Molly’s mum Donna McQuilton-Morgan, 41, said: “Once we started telling people about the challenge and Molly’s treatment more and more people kept wanting to join us.

“We’ve lived here a long time but there are some neighbours who we’ve never even spoken to before who heard what we were doing and asked what they could do to help. It’s been a real coming together of the community.”

Donna and husband Richard’s daughter Molly was just 11 years old when she was diagnosed with Addison’s Disease back in February 2016. The rare disorder, which is also known as primary adrenal insufficiency or hypoadrenalism, occurs when your body doesn’t produce enough of certain hormones. Although it can affect people of any age, it’s most common between the ages of 30 and 50, so Molly’s diagnosis was quite a rare one.

Before the diagnosis was given, Molly had been suffering from low mood, lack of energy, headaches and muscle pain – all common symptoms of the disorder.

“We’d known something wasn’t right for a while,” said Donna. “She’d had different tests and seen different doctors so it was a relief to get a proper diagnosis and be transferred to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

“Her diagnosis came just as she was starting high school, so not having a lot of energy for socialising was very hard. She has experienced big peaks and troughs in her mental health. She has felt very low at times and it has been hard to deal with as a family. But the doctors and nurses at the children’s hospital have been fantastic – so this is our way of giving something back.

“The staff at the hospital really do listen to the mums and dads and know that parents know their children better than anyone. Every child responds differently to Addison’s. The staff truly are amazing.

“Addison’s does make life complicated – if she has a stomach bug she has to have a drip in hospital. If she breaks a bone or needs to have a tooth out she needs to be admitted to hospital as her body could go into shock.”

Dad Richard, 46, was due to raise money for Addison’s Disease Self Help Group charity taking part in the London Marathon in April. As the event was postponed Richard decided to do his own version – repeating a four-mile loop near his house until he’d reach a marathon distance.

Richard, who is also dad to Ruby, 15, said: “I was able to do the run and have people from the street cheering me on, all in a safe way following social distancing. I’d posted it on our neighbourhood Facebook group so lots of people came out to see what we were doing, or clap from their windows. One guy called Pete asked if he could join me on the last loop so he came along and we ran through a finish line of toilet paper.” (Donna is keen to point the toilet paper was carefully folded up and used again – as back in April toilet roll was a well sought-after commodity.)

It was this act of unity which helped pave the way when Richard began his fundraising for Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity.

Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity is part of a team of hospital charities under the umbrella name of Manchester Foundation Trust Charity – which this month (July) is celebrating the NHS 72nd birthday. The Charity, which fundraises for hospitals across Manchester and Trafford, is hoping supporters will take on the #72for72NHS challenge by fundraising around the theme of the number 72. Participants can either choose to raise £72 or do a 72-themed challenge. Suggestions include 72 star jumps, running 72km in July or baking 72 cupcakes or making 72 homemade cards to sell.

Richard said: “I wanted to do something to say ‘thank you’ to the hospital. So when Laura at the Charity told me about the #72for72NHS campaign and I just thought ‘perfect’.

“I wasn’t keen on doing a run again so I decided on a 72-mile bike ride instead.

“When I told Donna she decided she wanted to cook 72 meals for our neighbourhood. Then other people on the street heard about it and decided to join in too. We’ve got someone eating 72 Jaffa cakes, one person eating 72 hotdogs and our girls, Molly and Ruby, are walking the neighbour’s dogs 7.2 miles.”

The neighbours are now doing the following activities:

  • Earlier this month Will Thomas rode 72 miles over two days on his bike in memory of his grandma. He also joined Richard for the last leg of his bike ride.
  • Matt Gilmore ate 72 hotdogs on Saturday, 11th
  • Donna McQuilton-Morgan cooked 72 meals for friends and neighbours in return for a donation, food was collected on Saturday 11th
  • Jennie Furby ate 72 jaffa cakes on Sunday, 12th
  • 5-year-old Ameera Shahid did 72 knee strikes on a pad her dad was holding on 12thMolly and Ruby walked their neighbour Karen Roche’s dog 7.2KM on 13th and 14th
  • Richard McQuilton-Morgan completed a 72-mile bike ride earlier this week.
  • A group of neighbours (Will Thomas, Danny Roberts and Karen Roche) mimicked Richard’s bike ride but did it as a relay team.
  • Jordan De Miranda is teaching his mum to run and together they will run 7.2km.

Collectively, they have already raised more than £1,00 between them!

Laura English, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity’s Events Officer, said: “We can’t believe how well Richard and Donna have done in recruiting people to the campaign – its heart-warming to think so many people are passionate about doing something in Molly’s honour.

“I’ve loved hearing from Richard about who he has signed up to do what. When I heard about the eating challenges I realised I shouldn’t be surprised by anything the street comes up with next!

“They’re a fantastic group of people and should be very proud of everything they have achieved.”

Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity fundraises throughout the year to support the treatment, research and care of young patients treated at the children’s hospital in Oxford Road, Manchester. The hospital sees more than 276,000 patients per year and takes in patients from across the North West and beyond.

Manchester Foundation Trust Charity raises funds for: Manchester Royal Infirmary; Wythenshawe Hospital; Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital; Manchester Royal Eye Hospital; Saint Mary’s Hospital, Manchester University Dental Hospital; Withington Community Hospital; Trafford General Hospital and Altrincham Hospital.

The group have various different donation pages you can give to:

Donna’s cooking donation page.

Richard’s cycling donation page.

Matt’s Hot Dog challenge page.

Jennie’s Jaffa cake challenge page.

Will’s 72 bike ride page.

Jordan’s 7.2K run donation page.

Ameera’s kicks challenge page.

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The Bircher’s Bake Sale

The Bircher’s Bake Sale

The Bircher family decided to bake 72 cakes of all shapes and sizes and sold them at a bake sale in their garden with social distancing measures in place. The sale was a huge hit with their local community and they managed sell every single cake, raising over £120!

The Bircher family have taken on many fundraising events for Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity over the years as their two boys, Charlie and Archie, have been patients at the hospital since birth due to a rare condition.

Jessica’s Weird and Wonderful Challenges

Jessica’s Weird and Wonderful Challenges

Jessica Barrow has completed a month-long challenge which saw her being hit in the face with slices of cheese and sitting in an inflatable hammerhead shark full of beans.

She was set the bizarre challenges by her friends to raise money for Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity.

Documenting her escapades on social media, Jessica has been keeping her donors up to date with her antics, which she performs in return for sponsorship money. She’s stuffed 72 marshmallows into her mouth, had cheese thrown in her face, performed celebrity impressions and even jumped in a bath of beans, egg, tuna, milk, honey and avocados in an inflatable hammerhead shark blow-up toy.

Jessica, 32, said: “The smell of the food in the inflatable was really awful. It was outside on a really hot day and the tuna and milk combination was just awful, but it was very funny.

“Whenever the suggestions came in they always had me chuckling. I have some very weird and wonderful friends it seems.”

Jessica, who lives with her partner Los Parmiter and daughter Hayley Stark, seven, is hoping to raise £750 – her fundraising target for a 50km trek in Brecon Beacons National Park. Sadly the 2020 event has now been cancelled but she will be organising her own walk this year and taking part in the event in 2021.

She said: “So far I’ve got up to 27km but I’m confident I can do 50km when it comes to it. The quickest time is about 7.5hours and the longest is 12hours – so hopefully I’ll do something in between. I’m one of those determined people who once they say they’re doing something, they’ll complete it no matter what.

“I’ve already had lots of donations with the challenges so hopefully I can hit my target before I set off in September.”

Jessica’s fundraising has mostly been themed around the number 72, with donors encouraged to give £7.20 per activity. This was to tie in with the Charity’s #72for72NHS campaign, which Jessica is part of.

Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity is part of a team of hospital charities under the umbrella name of Manchester Foundation Trust Charity which this summer is celebrating the NHS 72nd birthday. The Charity, which fundraises for hospitals across Manchester and Trafford, is hoping supporters will take on the #72for72NHS challenge by fundraising around the theme of the number 72. Participants can either choose to raise £72 or do a 72-themed challenge. Suggestions include 72 star jumps, running 72km in a month, baking 72 cupcakes or making 72 homemade cards to sell.

The reason Jessica was motivated to choose Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity is because her niece Charlotte, who the family called Charlie, has been treated at the hospital since birth.

Charlie has been diagnosed with a number of conditions including: Spina Bifida, Hydrocephalus, Chiari malformation, Holocord syringomyelia, neuropathic bladder and bowel, paraplegia and global developmental delay. Sadly it means she is a frequent visitor to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and despite being just three-and-a-half years old, has already undergone 11 operations.

Jessica’s sister and Charlie’s mum, Becci Barrow, who lives in Darwen, Lancashire said: “The hospital is almost a second home to us now – many of the wards she has stayed on know us really well.”

The severity of Charlie’s condition really hit home to Jessica when, earlier this year, she was on the phone to Becci when Charlie suddenly went into cardiac arrest and needed CPR – something that can happen to Charlie once a week. Thankfully on that occasion she recovered okay, but often she will need to be admitted to hospital straight away.

Jessica said: “Becci makes light of it to protect us I think, but hearing Charlie collapse and being powerless to do anything when I’m more than 200 miles away just really hammered home to me how important the hospital is to Charlie.

“I went up to the hospital before lockdown and I was able to surprise Charlie and Becci. Seeing the hospital for myself really emphasised to me all the wonderful work they do. That’s why I decided to do the fundraising.

“I was able to do so many challenges because I was furloughed. I’m now back at work but I still want to carry on doing what I can to hit the £750 target.”

Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity fundraises throughout the year to support the treatment, research and care of young patients treated at the children’s hospital in Oxford Road, Manchester. The hospital sees more than 276,000 patients per year and takes in patients from across the North West and beyond.

Laura English, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity’s Events Officer, said: “I always look forward to Jessica’s emails to find out where her fundraising adventure has taken her next!

“She’s done so well and everyone here is very proud of everything she has achieved.

“I’d encourage anyone who has been impressed by Jessica’s challenges to give her JustGiving Page a visit.”

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Temple Run

Temple Run

An amazing team of 4 are taking on an epic challenge as they complete 72 shuttle runs between Pooles Cavern and Solomons Temple in Buxton. Each lap is 1.25 miles, with an elevation of 345ft, meaning that their team total by the end of the challenge will be 90 miles and and elevation of nearly 25,000ft!

The incredible team is made up of Dan Corthorn, Matt Bagguley, James Dunk & Harry Corthorn. Find out more and support their challenge.

Daddies Escape take on 72 10Ks in July

Daddies Escape take on 72 10Ks in July

10Ks are the theme for this group!

Two members of the running team are doing 72 separate 10K runs EACH throughout the month of July. That means most days the team will be running two 10Ks, but for 10 days they will need to run three. Peter Gough and Liam Mellon are taking on this monster challenge.

Equally impressive are the relay team members: Mark Bousie, Craig Banks, Mark Collier, Frankie Yan, Richard McCalmont, Ricky Lee, Jason Swapp, Andy Hadfield, Andy Sykes and Gareth Swift. They will be doing eight 10Ks each, to take the team up to the magic number 72.

Find out more about their challenge.

Red4Reu’s Bobble Hats

Red4Reu’s Bobble Hats

Nine-year-old Martha, whose cousin Reuben sadly passed away last year when he was only seven years old, has decided to create and sell mini bobble hat key rings in his memory. As a keen Liverpool supporter, it was only right that the bobble hats each include at least one strand of red running through them in honour of Reuben’s favourite team.

Reuben is pictured here with Martha and his twin brother Rocco.

The family are raising funds for Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, in particular leukaemia research. Find out more and show your support.

Ashley Taylor Dawson’s Ultramarathon

Ashley Taylor Dawson’s Ultramarathon

Hollyoaks actor Ashley Taylor Dawson, along with pal Jay, are taking on an incredible 50km run as part of £72for72!

Ashley’s Hollyoaks character, Darren Osborne, has had an ongoing storyline in which he is suffering from depression. Since the storyline began late last year, Ashley has been contacted by fans of the show who have been sharing their own struggles with mental health issues and Ashley has even set up a YouTube channel to give a platform to those seeking help.

Now Ashley and pal Jay are taking on the monster challenge of an Ultramarathon – a 50km run – all to raise money for Galaxy House, a children’s and adolescent mental health (CAMHS) inpatient unit at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

“What Darren has been going through has been awful – I can’t even imagine what that would be like for someone of a younger age,” explained Ashley.

“Learning about mental health more through Darren has really made me start to realise that we just don’t talk about this enough. Mental health should be something we’re openly discussing from an early age.

“People still get funny about words like ‘counselling’, ‘mental health’ and ‘depression’.

“If something goes wrong with your car you get it sorted because you know something dangerous might happen later on if you don’t. But for some reason we don’t have that same attitude when it comes to our minds.”

Ashley, who is a dad to three boys, has been an avid supporter of Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital for a number of years. He is a patron of Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity and last year took part in the Charity’s daredevil challenge: Humphrey’s Heroes Abseil.

This time he has chosen to fundraise for Galaxy House: a 12-bed inpatient unit for children and adolescents which has living and dining facilities as well as therapy rooms and outdoor spaces.

He said: “I’ve been overwhelmed by the people who have contacted me since Darren’s depression storyline started. Even people who don’t watch the show much have contacted me to say they have connected with it and opened up to me. And people I’ve known for years have told me things which I had no idea about. It obviously resonates with a lot of people.

“Everyone is going through a particularly hard time right now. So now more than ever it’s important that we look at the issue and how we can all get better education around mental health issues. I honestly believe that means this should start in schools. Normalise it while we’re young and we will grow up knowing it’s perfectly fine to seek help.

“I know for some there is this old school belief that you have to ‘be tough’ but that just makes people think this sort of thing is abnormal. It’s not. And it’s okay to not be okay.”

Ashley will be doing the Ultramarathon run with his friend Jay Parlane on Saturday, 4th July. The friends have chosen a route around Cheshire. They have only been running together properly since the start of lockdown and the furthest they have ever run is 20km.

Ashley said: “I’ve been asked before to take part in a marathon but the thought of all that training and running made me feel sick and just sounded horrendous.

“Since the lockdown I’ve found that running has helped me clear my mind when days have been hard and given me the clarity of mind to focus my passion and energy in the right direction.

“I wanted to do something to help raise more awareness for mental health and of course support the incredible Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

“I’ve always been pretty gung-ho about making decisions. In my head I just thought if I’m going to spend that many hours running anyway, instead of doing a marathon why not just do an Ultramarathon. Yes, I know… think before you open your mouth Ash! DOH! But I’m doing it now and that’s that!

“Now the charity is involved it is really important to me so now there is no backing out… I will crawl if I have too! Please help me raise as much as possible for an amazing cause.”

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George’s Scavenger Hunt

George’s Scavenger Hunt

8-year-old George Bromley and family have decided to create a special scavenger hunt around their local area in Glossop! They will charge £1 per question sheet and, thanks to a donation of materials from Glossop Arts Project, have created special badges for those who complete it. We love this creative idea!

George has been both a patient of Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and Manchester Royal Eye Hospital due to his condition, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, and will be splitting his fundraising between the two hospitals to say thank you.

Find out more and show your support.