Sheffield Children's worker aiming to raise £5,000 for hospital charity in 2021 with monthly challenges

A member of staff at Sheffield Children’s Hospital has embarked on a year-long mission to raise £5,000 for its charity after the pandemic and parenthood gave him new reasons to be grateful for the organisation’s work.

Monday, 22nd February 2021, 12:16 pm

Operating department practitioner Joe Lee is setting himself a new goal each month, running the distance of a marathon in January and 40 miles a week in February.

He said: “Three days a week I’m getting up at 4am to drive to work and run ten to 16 miles before my shift starts.

"I think about everyone who has wished me luck and donated. I have a list of their names and look back to it whenever I’m tired. There is obviously no crowd, no medal or t-shirt, but thinking of the messages I received helps me to the finish line.”

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Joe Lee is setting himself a new challenge every month throughout 2021 to raise money for the Children's Hospital Charity.

This time last year, Joe says he would have struggled to complete five kilometres, but the lockdown restrictions led him to start running for the sake of his health.

In March, Joe he will be taking on a 4x4x48 challenge, running four miles every four hours for 48 hours.

He is unlikely to struggle for motivation as he sees the impact of the Children’s Hospital Charity every day, working across many of its departments and often using equipment paid for through supporters’ fundraising.

Joe said: “I assist our anaesthetists and look after some of the equipment but I am also part of the crash team for critically ill patients.

Joe has been out running in all weather conditions.

“The pandemic has been hard on everyone, at first it was terrifying, but the leadership here was fantastic and we have had amazing guidance and support. I know fundraising has suffered and I want to help make up for some of the cancelled events.

He added: “Since I first started at Sheffield Children’s almost ten years ago, I have seen many of my friends’ children undergo successful treatment. I became a parent last year, and that has given me a new understanding into the impact we make for our patients and their families.

“From day one, I knew this was where I wanted to spend my career. I am surrounded by so many inspiring people and there is no better feeling in the world than bumping into a patient who remembers you. You honestly can’t turn a corner without seeing a way the charity has helped.”

To support Joe’s fundraising, go to https://bit.ly/3qJYsv4.

Joe with daughter Ivy and wife Kirsty, who also works at Sheffield Children's.