10/05/2024 | Press releases

Hero Hikers raise £30,000 for hospital charity

More than £30,000 has been raised for Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity after determined hikers trekked across the Suffolk and Essex countryside during the annual Hospital Hero Hike.

It felt like spring had finally arrived on Saturday (4 May) as almost 200 people enjoyed the sunshine and warmer conditions whilst walking 21 miles between Ipswich and Colchester hospitals.

All of the money raised will support staff wellbeing and other services across East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT), which runs the hospitals and a range of community services.

Hikers completed the scenic route in around nine hours and enjoyed the beautiful countryside while walking side-by-side with NHS staff, getting fit and raising funds. They were also treated to much-needed drinks and refreshments by volunteers at both the start and finish lines.

A group of people taking part in a charity fundraising walk

Fliss Bates is a voluntary services coordinator at ESNEFT and walked alongside her husband Andy, brother Rob and his partner Katie in memory of their dad, Allan Herbert.

Andy and Rob, who are both Ipswich Town season ticket holders, gave up their tickets to the last game of the season and the chance to witness the club’s historic return to the Premier League to take part in the hike. The quartet are pictured below.

Four people taking part in a charity fundraising walk

Fliss said: “We knew it would be a big day for the club, but had a radio so we could listen to the match as we walked. The boys were chanting ‘Blue Army’ as the full-time whistle went.

“My dad was also a big fan of Ipswich Town, and we really wanted to do something to say thank you for everything ESNEFT did for him. He could never fault the care he was given, even when he was a patient during his time with cancer. Staff in the kidney team kept a close eye on him – they often checked in with him and really went above and beyond.”

A group of people taking part in a charity fundraising walk

Daniel Bailey, senior fundraising manager for Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity, said: “We always feel very humbled when our community support us with such enthusiasm. The money our hikers have raised will make a real difference to the wellbeing of our staff and benefit so many other amazing services across our hospitals and community sites.

“We would like to say a huge thank you all the supporters and volunteers that helped make the event such a success. We can’t wait to do it all again next year!”

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