Group’s running challenge raises vital funds for BEEP Doctors

BEEP Doctors (BASICS) Cumbria chair Dr Theo Weston with some of the 100km runners, including (right) organisers Anna and Jonathan Blackwell

A winter running challenge by a group of family members, friends and work colleagues has raised vital funds for a team of dedicated volunteer doctors which carries out life-saving work in Cumbria.

The BEEP Doctors (BASICS) Cumbria charity has been given £785, raised by the group, whose members each completed runs totalling 100 kilometres between January 1 and February 28.

The group, which included eight people from Cumbria as well as some from North Wales and the North East, smashed its original £500 fund-raising target.

Beep Doctors chair Dr Theo Weston said: On behalf of the charity, I would like to extend our thanks to this amazing group for fundraising in support of our cause. Their contributions will go a long way in helping us achieve our mission of making a positive impact on the lives of individuals and communities across Cumbria.

It costs more than £150,000 a year to keep our charity going and we rely solely on donations and fund-raising events, so this money will make a huge difference to the people of Cumbria in need of emergency medical care.”

Cumbria’s BEEP Doctors provide enhanced pre-hospital emergency care. They work closely with the police and fire services, North West Ambulance Service, Great North Air Ambulance Service and North West Air Ambulance.

At incidents BEEP Doctors can carry out some surgical procedures, such as inserting chest drains; some can perform pre-hospital anaesthetics; and all are able to administer drugs that most road crew paramedics cannot, such as ketamine/fentanyl to give pain relief and allow fracture manipulation.

Many of the emergencies they attend are road traffic collisions, as well as incidents involving farms, pushbikes, horses and water.

In 2022 the BEEP Doctors (BASICS) Cumbria charity attended 262 incidents and members completed 1,656 volunteering hours.

The 100 kilometres running challenge was organised by a couple from near Penrith – Anna Blackwell, a police officer, and her husband, Jonathan, who is Assistant Chief Constable with Cumbria Police.

Those taking part included Nick Hall, Alex Johnson and Jack Stabler, from Penrith; Damien Mottram from Barrow; and Kathryn Smyth and Lesley Watson, from Carlisle. The others were Phil Langley, Jayne Blackwell, Sarah Blackwell, Katie Gordon, Ashlea Ginesi and Lisa Coleman.

A good friend of ours who was visiting Cumbria last summer needed some urgent medical attention and it was the BEEP Doctors who were first on the scene,” said Anna.

They were absolutely fantastic so we decided to raise some money for them.

The BEEP Doctors are volunteers and do an amazing job to help local people and those visiting Cumbria in moments of real need.

We are delighted to have raised funds for them and to hopefully have raised awareness of what they do.”

Anna explained that those who took part in the 100 kilometres challenge included experienced runners and some ‘non-runners’.

Many of them are in the police so we ran separately because we tend to work different hours and shifts.

I did some different routes, some on the roads and some over fields and on the fells. I ran up Askam Fell and along the Keswick to Threlkeld railway trail. The longest run I did was 17 kilometres, which included a circuit of Derwentwater.

We all supported and encouraged each other to keep on going through a WhatsApp group.”

The group has carried out fundraising challenges before. In 2021 members ran every day for 100 days in aid of Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide and last year they ran every day for 50 days to raise money for the Salvation Army in Penrith’s food bank service.

Anna added: “I’d like to say well done to all the group members – now let’s get together and decide on the next challenge!”

Anyone wishing to support the BEEP Doctors charity and donate can do so via its JustGiving link, its text to donate service (text BEEP to 70085 to donate £2 or BEEP to 70450 to donate £10) or by making a secure card payment over the telephone. Details of all the options can be found on its website at https://beepdoctors.co.uk/ways-to-donate/ 

Dr Weston added: “We are always looking for fundraising opportunities and welcome any ideas. The Beep Doctors are also happy to attend businesses, organisations and community groups to provide or refresh lifesaving skills. For more information people can email info@beepdoctors.co.uk.”

 


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