Hi, my name is Jack.
In mid-April, my nearly 90-year-old Grandma collapsed in her garden, breaking a rib and vertebra. During her treatment, secondary cancer in her spine was also found. During lockdown, my mum and I have been unable to see her whilst on Dartmoor. We are indebted to the help and support of NHS healthcare professionals that have made her journey to date much smoother.
Using a steamroller (which is the same age as my Grandma!), I am going to do a Coast-to-Coast challenge from North to South Devon (Lynton to Plymouth), driving 90 miles, over 4-5 continuous days with all my provisions onboard. I think looking after a steam engine is analogous (in a tangible way!) to the work of healthcare professionals. It’s a lot of work underneath the surface to make things run smoothly, maybe overlooked unless experienced first-hand when either we or a loved one need them most.
The pandemic has highlighted the strain of caring for the vulnerable. I have personally felt the positive impact of healthcare teams through my Grandma’s struggles and sincerely appreciate them with a bigger heart. Whilst I cannot care for my Grandma because of Covid-19 restrictions, I can care enough to raise money for those who do, like my brother's wife, Mary, who is a social care worker.
Any money raised will be in aid of the NHS Charities Together Appeal and the great work they do, even before the COVID-19 outbreak. My Grandmother has been a massive support in my life and made things possible, it’s my turn to repay that altruism.
The date for the challenge is the week commencing Monday 21st August, I hope this idea captures the public imagination and shows the level of willpower all of us have, given the right incentive!