Mile-long conga raises funds for Sheffield hospital unit

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A mile-long conga snaked around Weston Park as patients, families and staff partied to raise funds to mark Cystic Fibrosis awareness week.

Staff from the Cystic Fibrosis unit at Sheffield Children’s Hospital organised the event, as part of a week of doing “funny things for a mile.”

Young patients, with parents in tow, danced around the park in fancy dress alongside Children’s Hospital mascot Theo the Bear to raise awareness of the disease.

The colourful conga attracted plenty of attention as they danced two laps of the park, singing Black Lace hit Come on and do the Conga.

Elaine Edwards, aged 31, and Rachel Worth, 25, both physiotherapists at the unit, said they wanted to do something different to raise awareness of the condition.

Elaine said: “As a team, with families and patients too, we aim to do 26.5 miles each day, in a funny way.”

Other activities will include riding exercise bikes during clinic hours, salsa-dancing, rollerblading, skateboarding and space-hopping.

Elaine said people had been completing miles at home and sending their information in to help the team achieve its task.

Rachel said: “We thought we’d dress up to conga, it was something fun. We’re getting a lot of interest.”

The Cystic Fibrosis Unit at the Children’s Hospital is one of only 13 specialist units in the country and tries to help patients extend their life expectancy and lead a good quality independent life.

The condition is a genetic disorder which affects the lungs and can cause breathing difficulties.

Cystic Fibrosis week runs until Sunday and supporters are being encouraged to ‘do something funny for money’ across the country.

Events include Get Britain Bouncing Day, which takes place today and aims to highlight the physical and emotional benefits of trampolining.

Cystic fibrosis affects roughly 8,000 children, teenagers and young adults in the UK.

The Sheffield Children’s Hospital unit allows young people living with the disease to continue their school studies during their stay and gives them access to experts.