Fundraising friends Michael Gough and Craig Timmins will be spending 24 hours walking, running and cycling in a charity cardio session to raise cash for a new playroom at Walsall Manor Hospital.
The determined duo are supporting Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s Well Wishers charity after Michael vowed to say thank you to the Trust when his baby daughter Gabriella was treated for sepsis back in 2018, thanks to a persistent Midwife.
They will be in action at AJ’s Gym in Bloxwich from 9am on Saturday 11 March through to 9am on Sunday 12 March. And their efforts have been boosted by another friend Michelle Ritchie who ran a raffle to win a three-night stay at a lovely old schoolhouse in Boyne.
Father-of-two Michael, who is e-commerce Manager for Tile Choice in Walsall, explained that he and Craig, 37, a fitness instructor, are old school friends who have been in previous fundraising challenges including a street sleepout which raised more than £6,000 for local foodbanks.
The 41-year-old said: “Anyone who knows me will tell you that I spend 10 hours a day at my desk and I like my comfort and warmth. I like to pop to the gym, do an hour and go home, back to the sofa! So, 24 hours on the exercise bike and treadmill is definitely going to be a push but we’re determined to do it for such a good cause.
“Walsall Football Club is also on board and will be helping us to promote the session and we hope to raise £3,000 for some extra toys for the Children’s Ward or anything else needed in the playroom.”
Michael said he and wife Denise would be forever grateful to the Midwife doing a home visit following the birth of their youngest child Gabriella who was concerned about the baby.
“She was worried and felt Gabriella wasn’t as responsive as she should be; she was persistent with us so that we got help. It turned out Gabriella had sepsis and she was given antibiotics. We always said we would say thank you properly but couldn’t really put this into action during the pandemic so we’re really going for it now.”
Donations can be made via www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/24hr-cardio-session
Through donations, Well Wishers is able to fund the makeover, costing around £23,000, which will see the tired play space transformed into a bright and colourful feature, complete with new wall murals, wall art activities, equipment including role play areas and a wet play area.
Georgie Westley, Walsall Healthcare Fundraising Manager, added: “All the best to Michael and Craig for their mammoth fundraising session.
“Their fantastic efforts will bring a smile to our young patients who use the playroom and we’re grateful to them both, as well as Michelle, for organising this fundraiser for us.”