19 Mar 2021 Community
Elmwood Family Doctors take on 1,748-mile challenge for The Kirkwood
Based in Holmfirth, the team at Elmwood Family Doctors took on a 1,748-mile virtual challenge together to support their wellbeing during the third lockdown and raise vital funds to help The Kirkwood Support Life.
As the beginning of 2021 saw us entering the country’s third national lockdown, the cold winter weather and dark evenings left many of our community feeling low and unmotivated due to the restrictions. In a bid to stay active and focus on their wellbeing during in this difficult time in the pandemic, the team at Elmwood Family Doctors embarked on an incredible challenge throughout March that has already raised a staggering £2,380 for The Kirkwood.
The idea of a challenge began with Dr Eloise Collins, GP Partner at the surgery, who wanted to help lift the spirits of her colleagues with a challenge they could all get involved in within the restrictions.
The group took on the virtual distance from John O’Groats to Land’s End and back again, a total of 1,748 miles, with family and pets throughout the Holme Valley, all to raise money for The Kirkwood.
Eloise says: “I set up the challenge to promote staff wellbeing within the health centre; to encourage people to be active and get outdoors and to distract from the monotony of Covid lockdown!
“We wanted to raise money whilst we were completing the challenge as we were doing something out of our comfort zones. A few people suggested The Kirkwood. There are lots of charities to choose from, but we wanted to do something that helped a local cause but was not too specific to one of our patient groups. The Kirkwood support lots of conditions and look after patients that we are involved with.”
Starting at the beginning of March, they anticipated the challenge to take between five and six weeks but have smashed the distance in less than half the time!
“I was delighted with how many of our staff decided to take part, and since beginning the challenge I am amazed at how committed everybody has been,” Eloise continues.
“People walking to work each day that didn't previously, nipping out for a lunchtime march, heading out in the dark after long work shifts, and battling horrible weather conditions (wet, windy, hail) to clock up the miles.
“I had planned for it to take certainly the whole month of March, possibly longer, but we are now almost at our target after just 2 weeks. I thought that I was a reasonably active person, but I am taken aback by the number of miles our teams are walking, it really is incredible.”
The challenge has given the team a great way to reconnect with one another despite all taking part virtually. Here are just some of the feedback received from the group.
“Amazing team spirit, I think everyone is really enjoying a new challenge too. Great teamwork for an even greater charity. Well done everyone. Very proud to be part of team Elmwood Family Doctors. - Amy Allan, Receptionist.
“The Kirkwood were mine and Mum’s rock in so many ways in her last few months. People seem to have such a negative idea of what a hospice is, but The Kirkwood was a place of hope, focussed on making what time people have the best possible. The Family Care Team were my life saviours before and after my Mum died. It's a joy reading everyone's updates, and the camaraderie and fabulous team spirit is not something I've experienced at work for a long time, so makes me smile and feel incredibly lucky and proud.” - Michelle Briggs, Healthcare Assistant.
“I have to say, I would not have gone for a walk today if we had not been doing this. I think it will do us all good, as well as helping The Kirkwood. Some impressive efforts, well done team.” - Dr Alison Dewhurst, GP.
Elmwood Family Doctors, based in Holmfirth, supports the local community across the Holme Valley, providing the very best treatment for their patients. The team often work closely with The Kirkwood, referring patients affected by a life limiting illness who are in need of further support.
Michael Crowther, Chief Executive with The Kirkwood, comments on their recent fundraising. Michael said: “As a charity, we support life for anyone affected by a life limiting illness in Kirklees. We work closely with GP practices like Elmwood Family Doctors to make sure we are there to support those who need us most, right from their diagnosis through to end of life.
“Thank you so much to the team for choosing to support us with their challenge. The amazing amount raised will make a real difference to people in the Holme Valley area where, as well as supporting patients who need care at our In-Patient Unit in Dalton, we support people in their own homes through The Kirkwood’s Nurses like Kathryn Mannings who works with this practice– thank you to everyone who took part and donated!”
Once the planning of the challenge was well underway, the team grew to an incredible 35 people taking part, including GPS, nurses, administrators and support staff.
Thank you so much to: Dr Eloise Collins, Dr Alison Dewhurst, Dr James Morton, Dr Cameron Irving, Dr Ajay Sharma, Dr Vicky Dorsett, Dr Kelly Reddington, Dr Karen Rhodes, Dr Carol Frankland, Dr Gareth Price, Dr David Hughes and his Wife Hilary Hughes.
Nurses and Healthcare assistants Diane Eales, Julie Dunn, Michelle Briggs, Emma Rigby and Emily Graham. Advanced Nurse Practitioner Lauren Dollive, Secretary Kaye Whiteley and Project Support Officer Fran Brook.
Practice Administrators Graham Brown, Julie Chambers, Angela Noble and Janice James. Practice Managers Sarah Shepherd and Sue Johnson.
Receptionists Amanda Hill, Marie Odlin, Diane Bibby, Amy Allan, Emma Eastwood, Jo Leigh and Helen Talbot. Trainee GPs Becky Williams and Taiba Sagir.
If you would like to donate to the team's challenge, click here.
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