Staff from QA Hospital cycle 206 miles for equipment

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SIX cyclists took on a 206-mile challenge to raise money for hospital equipment.

Staff from Queen Alexandra Hospital’s renal department completed the 18-hour ride raising nearly £3,000.

The cyclists started at the Cosham site at 4.30am and toured dialysis centres in Havant, Bognor Regis, Basingstoke, Salisbury, Milford, Totton and Chandlers Ford.

They returned to QA Hospital just after 10pm and were presented with the medals.

Eileen Duff, renal dietician for the department, said: ‘The day was fantastic.

‘There was fabulous weather, an amazing support crew and a merry band of cyclists that rallied each other around the 206-mile route.

‘We had astounding support from the dialysis units as we went along, with food arranged at each station and a surprise cake at Totton.

‘It really fuelled everyone on for the last stretch.’

Originally the team wanted to raise £500.

Eileen added: ‘So far we have raised £2,500, obliterating our £500 target.

‘We hope to reach £3,000 soon.’

The cycle road is not the only challenge the staff at the renal department have taken on.

Sixteen employees joined patients in doing a skydive organised by patient David Penny, from Southsea.

He has been receiving treatment for renal failure since 2011.

He said: ‘It is essential for patients to be pro-active in raising funds to purchase equipment and for services that will make treatment more readily available, which will then lead to an improved life.’

So far, the team of staff and patients have raised £8,723 from the skydive.

Claire Whitehill is a vascular access nurse specialist for QA’s renal department.

She said: ‘David organised the skydive to bring patients, staff and relatives together, while raising funds to purchase equipment.

‘I would like to say a massive thank-you to our fellow jumpers and to everyone who sponsored us.’

The money raised from both events will buy equipment for the renal department, improving support and experience for patients.