DCH100 Challenge team reaches £100,000 target

Dorset County Hospital Charity is delighted to announce that over £100,000 has been raised by the DCH100 team taking part in the Jurassic Coast Challenge held on 18-19 May, organised by the Ultra Challenge group.

With over 50 participants walking or running sections of the 100km route in support of Dorset County Hospital, the event has now raised £100,000 for the DCH Emergency and Critical Care Appeal. A further £4,000 for other wards and departments has also been raised, with more donations expected.

The DCH100 team led by  former DCH consultant Michael Dooley, included a number of people who took on the full 100km distance of this landmark footpath from Corfe Castle to Bridport. This incredible feat was achieved by the majority of the team, despite the length and physical challenges of the route.

Special thanks go to Michael himself, who as the inspirational team leader of DCH100 has fronted this challenge from the start, and to Peter Down, aged 85. Both completed the full 100km distance over the two-day period, Michael walking continuously, completing the distance in just over 35 hours.

After the race Michael said,

“It was a true ultra challenge for the body, mind and inner self. The experience reaffirmed to me the importance of teamwork. The support staff were phenomenal; their enthusiasm, encouragement, flapjacks, dry clothes, and unwavering assistance throughout the day and night were crucial to our success.

Michael added,

“Fellow walkers continually motivated each other – during those cold, damp and exhausting hours around 4am nothing compares to a friend’s encouraging word to keep you going. It was a genuine team effort for a  wonderful cause and everyone involved must be congratulated.”

When asked how he came to be involved fellow 100km walker Peter Down said,

“I think it was at a chance meeting with fellow team member Rob Acheson last January. I was saying how I still enjoyed fairly long walks and he replied – You should do the 100K Jurassic Coast Challenge this year – quite persuasively.  I mentioned it to my neighbours, Robert and Janet, and that was it. Training began.”

Appeal Officer, Mary-Jane Attwood, has been coordinating the DCH100 team over the past five months and was there to encourage the teams as they set off along the route, and to meet them at the finish in Bridport. Mary-Jane said,

“The weather on Saturday made the challenge even harder, with a deluge of torrential rain in the evening before their long overnight haul. We have nothing but total respect and admiration for the sheer tenacity of our participants, all of whom put their personal lives on hold to train for and complete this ultra challenge. The amount raised will make a huge difference to the Appeal and to all the people who will be treated in the new Emergency Department and Critical Care Unit. Our sincere thanks go to all the amazing participants.”

Special mention goes to father and son Daniel and Dillon O’Brien who also completed the full 100km distance. Dillon was treated for sepsis at Dorset County Hospital last December and was very seriously ill.

Head of Charity, Simon Pearson said,

“This is an extraordinary achievement by all who took part, both in terms of the challenge and the amount of funding raised. Dillon’s resilience exemplifies this determination to get through this challenge and has been an inspiration to us all. It was great to see both Dillon and Daniel so positive as they crossed the finish line after their epic 100km walk.”

Others taking part included DCH staff Duncan Chambler and Sophie Webber, (running the 25km Corfe Loop), and Phil Wylie, Rachel Wharton and her husband Peter, (who completed 58km from Corfe to Weymouth, with Rachel in her scrubs). The Radioactive Ramblers, three radiographers, took on the full 100 km distance, and Team Minerva, led by DCH Governor Kathryn Harrison, completed the 25km Corfe route. The largest staff team of 14 came from the DCH Strategic Estates team with members completing the 34km run from Corfe to Weymouth and also the 10km Bridport loop. Appeal Patron Kate Adie was also at the finishing point to welcome our runners and walkers safely home. The Charity team wish to thank all the participants for their outstanding hard work, fundraising and commitment to this event.

The DCH100 fundraising effort will support the hospital’s Emergency and Critical Care Appeal which is raising funds to enhance the new Emergency Department and Critical Care Unit being built on the hospital’s Dorchester site.

There’s still time to support all the teams and help raise even more for the Emergency and Critical Care Appeal here: www.justgiving.com/campaign/dch100

To find out more about the Appeal visit www.dchcharity.org.uk


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