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NHS fundraisers get muddy for money

03 June 2019

Teams from Mid Essex, Southend and Basildon hospitals joined together to complete a gruelling obstacle course to raise money for the hospitals’ charities.

The event, held at Nuclear Races in Kelvedon Hatch, was inspired by personal trainer and Nuclear Races employee Laura Roberts whose son Oscar was treated for leukaemia at Broomfield Hospital.

Over fifty medical, support staff and hospital fundraisers crawled, climbed and swam their way through a series of challenges on the 5k course. Having flung themselves over fences, been up to their necks in water and pulled themselves through energy-sapping mud pits, the event ended with a 20ft freefall 'deathslide' into a lake.

The group included eleven members of Southend Hospital's special care baby unit, two of whom were on shift that evening.

Once the weary competitors had jogged over the finish line, they were treated to burgers provided by the Rapid Relief Team and had the honour of being presented with a survivor's medal by nine-year-old Oscar.

Oscar's mum Laura, who has also run two marathons to raise money for Broomfield's Phoenix children's ward, said: "The event was great and everyone enjoyed themselves. They all did really well although I'm not sure some of them liked the mud that much. It was definitely a challenge!

"Oscar was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in 2014 and Broomfield was our shared care hospital with Great Ormond Street. They were brilliant. He finished chemo two years ago but we're still under Broomfield and go back every six months. I like to raise money for them because it's a really good hospital."

Lucy Thomas-Clayton, associate director of charities for Mid and South Essex Hospitals, said: "I don't think you can appreciate how hard the course is until you've done it! It was really great to see teams supporting all areas of our hospitals coming together to help each other and having fun. As well as raising vital funds, everyone has really enjoyed themselves.

"I'd like to say a big thank you to Nuclear Races for hosting us today, to Hospital Radio Chelmsford, the Rapid Relief Team for our refreshments, to Tony Jarvis our photographer, and to all our participants who have completed an amazing challenge."