Hospital Workers Take On Team Challenge

A GROUP of NHS workers have been clocking up the miles to raise funds for wellbeing projects at their hospital.

More than 140 staff members at Manchester Royal Infirmary’s Emergency Department have already reached the equivalent of walking from Manchester to Machu Picchu– with a few miles to spare for a sightseeing tour.

They’ve walked, run and cycled their way to more than 6,300 miles in April, having initially set a target of covering 2,021 miles between them throughout the month. They’re now just trying to reach their fundraising target of £5,000. All the money raised on their JustGiving Page will go to Manchester Royal Infirmary Charity.

The challenge’s organiser, Dr Emma Everitt, said: “We want the funds to go towards refurbishing our staff room. As Covid and social distancing came in, we moved out of our small staff room to a larger conference room. But to allow space the table had to be removed, so often the staff end up eating lunch on their lap and it’s not a very comfortable place for taking a break.

“We’d love for it to be a much more fit-for-purpose room where we can relax on our break and enjoy it properly. Any additional money we have left over the Charity would be able to use for other health and wellbeing projects in the hospital.”

Emma organised the event by splitting challenge participants into groups. There are nine teams in total and each team competes to clock up the most miles each week.

“We’re all quite competitive so having the leaderboard each week has really spurred everyone on,” said Emma. “It’s also really brought us closer together as a team and people have really bonded with staff who they might not have worked with or known very well before now.

“Going through Covid, having the lockdown restrictions and not being able to see family and friends has meant it’s been a really trying year. This has given us something different to focus on. Instead of starting a shift talking about Covid and lockdown, everyone’s asking each other how many miles they’ve done.”

As the miles could only count outside of work, and walking around the hospital during a shift couldn’t be included, the challenge also encouraged staff members to get fit and active on their days off. Some members had even “gone green” and now commute by walking or cycling rather than driving or taking the bus to work.

“One of our nurses, who wasn’t really doing much walking before, reached 50 miles by the middle of April,” said Emma. “She’ll message me in the morning to say how many miles she’s done.”

“Another challenge member had a day off the other day and just decided to cycle to York to get the miles in – that’s 75 miles! She said she wouldn’t have done it if it hadn’t been for the competition.

“All different staff are working together on this which is really nice – we have physios, doctors, nurses, managers, administration staff…we even have our clinical director taking part.

“It’s helped build new friendships and brought the whole team closer together.

“We’re fitter, healthier…but even more competitive than usual too!”

All the funds raised will go to Manchester Royal Infirmary Charity, who will then assign it to the Emergency Department’s charity fund for them to spend on revamping the staff room. Any leftover money will go towards other wellbeing projects at the department.

The Charity has three main areas of work where money is spent:

  • to provide state-of-the-art equipment for diagnosis and treatment
  • support research projects to improve our understanding of illnesses
  • to help to create an environment that’s more friendly and welcoming to our patients and their families and staff.

Manchester Royal Infirmary Charity’s fundraising officer Shannon Appleyard has been supporting the team with their fundraising. She said: “It’s so encouraging when a fundraising challenge not only raises money, but it also brings a team close together. What’s even more amazing about this challenge is that it’s also helped people to become fitter and healthier too.

“The group have already raised a fantastic £2,700 of their £5,000 target and I’m sure they’re going to hit their target soon enough.

“I want to extend a big ‘well done’ to everyone who took part.”

To sponsor the group visit their MRI ED 2021 fundraising page or to find out more about visit our Manchester Royal Infirmary Charity page.