Surgery staff have raised almost £9,000 after a GP who trained here responded to our appeal for help.
Thirty workers at Bridgnorth Medical Practice fastened their trainers to fundraise for us after we lost our ability to raise £100,000 a week as a result of the coronavirus.
Organised by Dr Tom Kwan, who completed his GP training with us last year, they set out to raise £3,000 by walking, running or cycling 3,000km to represent the 3,000 families we care for each year.
The two-week challenge finished in June and to Dr Tom’s surprise they had almost doubled the distance covered and tripled the amount raised.
Dr Tom said: “I initially put the £3,000 figure as a starting point for us to get to and I was hopeful we’d be able to do that between us [surgery staff] and the community but we’ve done substantially better raising £8,900 and I’m hugely pleased with that; and we actually ended up covering about 5,000km in total.
“Everyone got involved from doctors, to reception and the admin team, to nurses and urgent care practitioners. People were doing things indoors and outdoors; everyone really got into the spirit of it and were enjoying having something to focus on and for such a worthwhile cause.”
Our area fundraiser Hannah Gamston said: “We’re amazed at how much Dr Tom and his colleagues have raised by holding their own virtual event and what a fantastic response from their supporters.
“It’s fun and easy to organise your own fundraiser while social distancing. From Zoom coffee mornings to Skype dance parties and virtual activities, there’s so many things you can do; and we’re here to support you with useful tips and information to turn your idea into reality.”
We called on the public’s support after our shops were forced to close and traditional fundraising activities were turned off one by one when the country went into lockdown in March, meaning we had lost the ability to raise £100,000 a week ever since.
Dr Tom heard about the campaign during a palliative care video meeting with Professor Derek Willis, our medical director.
The 31-year-old added: “I wanted to help because I gained loads of hugely valuable experience with palliative care as a trainee doctor at the hospice. I have formed very good relationships with the hospice team and I imagine has really inspired me to go on and get involved with the palliative care side of things as a GP specialism.”
Professor Derek said: “Tom was with us on a four-month placement in April last year as part of his GP training; he’s very passionate about the work we do here at the hospice and it’s great this has influenced his career choice.
“The value doctors like Tom bring to the hospice and healthcare is immense and we’re proud that we can offer a range of opportunities to students and healthcare professionals who want to learn more about hospice work.”
Hannah added: “Every donation, no matter how big or small, makes a real difference to our families; we’re simply couldn’t do what we do without support from local people.”
Find out more about fundraising for us by visiting our Fundraise for Us page.