Take a hike for Bradford Hospitals Charity

Students and disabled walkers from around Bradford are raising money by virtually climbing Ben Nevis in their own homes.

‘Take a Hike’ is a mixed ability walking group, made up of disabled people with a love of walking and University of Bradford students who assist them on their hikes. When their long-awaited Ben Nevis trip was cancelled, they decided to turn their efforts to completing the challenge in their own homes, by walking up and down their stairs 50 times each.

So far, their Climb for Carers has raised more than £700 for Bradford Hospitals’ Charity – the NHS charity partner of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – and they are calling on others to join them, post a video and donate. Their target is £1,000.

Adam Tasker, student development leader for the University of Bradford’s Student Union, founded the group and has been organising the virtual fundraising. He said: “They were all gutted when the Ben Nevis challenge had to be cancelled due to Covid-19. The last few weeks have been a lonely time for many of our members, as many have been stuck indoors for weeks due to shielding, with no end in sight. It’s also been tough for many of our university students who have been in lockdown in student accommodation, a long way from their families.

“This challenge was inspired by Captain Tom, but we felt it would be a great way to keep in touch with everyone and to keep moving.”

Adam explained that members had a number of different disabilities, from visual impairments (three members are blind) to learning disabilities. He said they chose to raise money for Bradford Hospitals ‘Charity because they wanted to say thank you to the NHS and specifically recognise the NHS charity which supports the hospitals they use.

“It’s quite tiring going up and down stairs 50 times! But everyone can do it at their own pace, so it is achievable,” he said. “We would love people from around Bradford to join us, post a video and donate. It means a lot to us all to have the support!”

Hayley Collis, Head of Fundraising for Bradford Hospitals’ Charity, said: “Take a Hike is a fabulous group of people who come together to enjoy their love of hiking. It keeps everyone fit and healthy and they have had brilliant opportunities to visit places they never would have been able to without the support the group offers.

“We are incredibly grateful to Adam and all the members for taking on this challenge. While we understand it’s not quite Ben Nevis, it’s still not easy to walk up and down your stairs 50 times, so we salute your efforts!

“Thank you to everyone who had donated. It will go towards supporting our frontline NHS Hospital Heroes as well as our patients.”

To see a video of the Take a Hike members taking part in their Climb for Carers, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6e16blYy_gM&t=14s

To donate visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/take-a-hike-challenge

All money raised by Take a Hike will be spent on supporting staff through the crisis, supporting them longer term and purchasing equipment and services to enhance patient care and treatment.

You can find out more about the Bradford Hospitals’ Charity NHS Hospital Heroes appeal at https://bradfordhospitalscharity.org/nhshospitalheroes.