A determined team of NHS staff from Southport Hospital walked all the way from Southport to Liverpool yesterday (Wednesday 17 September) so they could raise money to help their patients.
Nine intrepid walkers completed the 20-mile, eight-hour journey along the coast and enjoyed huge support as they stopped to fundraise along the way.
The journey took place to raise money for a new minibus for the North West Regional Spinal Injuries Centre at Southport and Formby District General Hospital.
They trekked through Birkdale, Formby, Crosby, Waterloo, Bootle, Everton and Liverpool city centre, finishing at the Albert Dock.
Their efforts have seen them raise an incredible £15,000 towards their £30,000 target.
Craig Alty, a Registered Nurse at the Spinal Injuries Centre, said: “The walk is complete! It was very successful.
“We managed to complete the walk in just under eight hours, in perfect weather conditions.
“We had lots of tired legs at the end, but only one or two blistered feet thankfully.
“The support along the way was amazing! Drivers honked the horns, some even pulled over to donate change.
“One guy that sticks in my mind was travelling along the opposite side of the busy carriageway of Derby Road in Liverpool, by Millers Bridge.
“He stopped and ran across six lanes of traffic to donate £30 to us… it was amazing generosity. Even children were giving us their money.
“I am keeping the Just Giving page open until review in 2022.
“I am hopeful of achieving our 100% target way before that though.
“More donations are muchly appreciated!”
The walk was originally due to take place in May, but was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
So far nearly 300 people have donated money to raise £15,325 of their £30,000 target, but they are asking local residents and businesses to dig deep and help their appeal.
The brave souls who completed the walk were: Craig Alty, Danielle Cannon, Daniella Nesovici, Phil Power, Rachel Power, Helen McKenna, Helen Gillan, Tanisha Ashcroft and Clare Hill.
Craig Alty said: “Specialist rehabilitation healthcare for patients with spinal cord injury started at the former Promenade hospital in Southport in 1947, moving to our purpose-built, 43-bed centre at Southport Hospital in 1991.
“We admit patients from across the North West, North Wales and the Isle of Man and have an international recognition for specialist treatment for patients needing mechanical ventilation.
“The North West Regional Spinal Injuries Centre supports the rehabilitation of patients with specialised individual programmes designed to maximise the potential recovery of each patient.
“We enhance our patients’ care with a wheelchair-accessible minibus which, as well as providing practical help such as getting them to the dentist and eye tests, plays a vital role enabling us to take patients on day trips.
“It also supports attending home visits with our Occupational Therapists, enables patients to participate in the annual Inter Spinal Games at Stoke Mandeville Stadium – this involves 14 Spinal Injury Centres nationwide, and enables patients to discover new hobbies post spinal cord injury – and returning home to see family and friends.
“Patients can be with us for many months, and any of the above may be a patients first experience outside a hospital environment since their spinal injury, so this is especially important to their well-being as it helps each patient to reintegrate with society, and also have the confidence to do so.”
The appeal has become urgent because the previous vehicle is no longer fit for purpose.
Craig said: “The current minibus has reached the end of its useful life, and has been decommissioned.
“At present the hospital’s budget does not see this minibus as a necessity to the running of our Spinal Injuries Centre.
“Therefore to continue to provide this much needed service, we need your help and generous support to replace it.
“Please please please, your donation is vital to us reaching our target, and more importantly, being able to bring back an important service that is vital to the success of rehabilitating our patients.”
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