A team, comprising of staff from Govia Thameslink Railway, have cycled, walked or jogged more than 800 miles to raise cash for NHS staff and volunteers working through the COVID pandemic.
The eight Train Presentation Officers came up with the idea of covering the distance between the depots in Bedford and Peterborough to Little Hampton, Bognor Regis, Brighton and Eastbourne – a distance of 349 miles.
However, in just two weeks, the team far exceeded 349 miles and instead covered 838.5 miles, which is the same as travelling from Land’s End to John O’Groats.
The team also smashed their fundraising target of £1,000 by raising £1,880.
The team consisted of Anthony Dowsett, James Canty, Janine Foulger, Daniel Odgers, Simon Beal, Emilia Zawisza, Allison Welsh and Arun James.
Train presentation manager, Anthony, 48, said: “We are full of admiration for the amazing work everyone at the NHS is doing, and as fellow key workers we wanted to show our support for them. Covering hundreds of miles has been both challenging and great fun. It’s spurred us on to up our fitness levels and it’s been incredibly rewarding to have smashed our fundraising target for NHS Charities Together.”
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James said: “My fitness level before this challenge was pretty woeful and I have really enjoyed getting on the bike, taking in the new area I have moved to and trying to improve my overall health. Doing it as part of a team has been great because it has motivated me to push myself, and we all encourage each other on Strava with positive comments. I will definitely keep this up and hopefully make it an annual tradition.”
Anthony Dowsett said: “Many years ago, I was in the British trampoline team for several years and I’m still an active coach, however I have never kept up my fitness levels. I am now on a mission to get fit again, lose some weight and this lockdown and charity event has provided the perfect opportunity.”
Janine Foulger said: “After leaving school I confess I did no regular exercise at all. I decided to make some major lifestyle changes approaching my 50th birthday so I packed up smoking, lost some weight and signed up and completed the NHS Couch to 5k programme. I now have two dogs so they ensure that I walk every day. But this challenge has encouraged me to get my trainers back on and regularly run again. So now if it’s a run day the dogs also have to run with me – much to my poochon Alfie’s disgust!”
Arun James said: “The challenge was great fun. I enjoyed the fact that others in the team were actively involved and super motivated, at the same time I enjoyed pushing myself to beat my own miles on the few occasions that I still continue to do. There is nothing better than cycling at dawn or dusk on a brighter day, before or after work, especially the countryside around Rusper, Godalming and places around Surrey hills that I explored.”
Allison said: “I try to go for a ten-mile walk once a week, and as I don’t have the time during the week I do 8,000 steps a day while watching TV – my kind of multi-tasking.”
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