Hospital ICU Team treks to North Pole for Linking Lives Uk


Following the huge physical, emotional and psychological challenges that NHS staff have faced over recent months, most people would expect many of them to be taking every opportunity to catch up on lost sleep and find as many opportunities for rest and relaxation. One ICU therapy team, however, based at Leicester Royal Infirmary is doing exactly the opposite!

The team of eleven staff have been keen to get fitter following the COVID crisis and decided to do a June Challenge in which they aim to reach the North Pole from Leicester, in 30 days. They are doing this by walking, running or cycling. The distance is 4156 km for 11 of us which is 12.5km each day each.

One member of the tea, Philip Sykes, explains that ‘We felt that as a team addressing loneliness is very important during the COVID pandemic with older people having to shield themselves. We were also keen to give back to the community for the support they have given us over the last few months through donations, such as food and toiletries, which made a big difference to our morale.’

During Covid 19, many of us have experienced loneliness and isolation as we remained in our homes, yet for thousands of people across the country this feeling is sadly normal. Linking Lives UK works with churches to set up befriending projects to support socially isolated older people. The charity has had a local project based in Leicester Western Ward since March 2017.Volunteers visit older people on a weekly basis and there are opportunities to attend local community events and activities. Since the Covid-19 lockdown began, regular phone calls have been made to those most in need of regular contact, particularly those who are being shielded at this time. Research published this week by the Office for National Statistics shows that almost a third of people – the equivalent of 7.4m Brits – said their wellbeing had been affected by feelings of loneliness in the first month of the coronavirus lockdown.

Sarah Tavener, the coordinator of Leicester Western Ward Linking Lives was delighted to hear about the challenge. ‘We work with some very isolated people in New Parks and to know that this amazing team at the Leicester Royal Infirmary are not only working hard within the hospital dealing with the current pandemic but also wanted to reach out and support those we engage with is incredibly heart-warming.’
Money raised during this challenge will be split between the vital ongoing work of Leicester Western Ward Linking Lives and the national work of the charity to set up new befriending projects across the UK. Those wishing to contribute towards this campaign can do so below.


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