“Everyone keeps saying it’s impossible, it will be embarrassing if it is…”
Three South Yorkshire Police officers are embarking on an ambitious road trip in July to raise money for Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
Detective Inspector Jamie Henderson, Sergeant Scott Sarson and PC James Thorpe have set themselves the challenge of visiting every football league ground in the country with the time limit of 92 hours.
DI Jamie Henderson explains more: “There’s 92 grounds, so we thought 92 hours would create the perfect symmetry for the challenge. We usually go on obscure summer holidays together, but this year I thought ‘why not do something a bit different’ and Sheffield Children’s Hospital is a fantastic motivation for something that even we admit is ambitious…”
The charity challenge will not only see the team travel over 2,400 miles by car, but when they arrive in London they will take to two wheels, riding their bikes between the capital’s football clubs.
The trio have set themselves a fundraising target of £25,000 with the money raised going towards the redevelopment of the Sheffield Children’s Hospitals Cancer and Leukemia Ward.
The ward treats children from babies through to 19 year olds and a fundraising drive was launched earlier this year to improve facilities for patients, including the creation of private rooms, isolation wards and a larger classroom. You can read more about the wider appeal here.
Sergeant Scott Sarson has his own reasons for taking part in the challenge: “My daughter Lydia was born in 2009 with a heart defect, called atrial septal defect, basically a hole in the heart. For the first few years of her life, we had countless trips to Sheffield Children’s Hospital and although it was the hardest time in our lives, it was made bearable by the fantastic staff and facilities.
“We are so lucky to have the hospital on our doorstep and this is part of us saying thank you and making sure that other families and children can benefit the way we certainly did.”
The trio will set off from Oakwell Stadium in Barnsley on Friday 12 July at 8pm and will end their challenge on Tuesday 16 July at Bramall Lane at 4pm.
PC James Thorpe says it is already causing them sleepless nights: “We’re going to be eating and sleeping in that car – it’s going to a very tight squeeze. Whether we will be friends by the end of it I’m not sure…the planning process alone has tested our friendship and patience. Planning the route has taken days of studying maps…
“The scariest thing though is not reaching our fundraising target, so please donate if you can, the Cancer and Leukemia Ward appeal is such a fantastic cause.”
Abbie Pervin, Regional Fundraising Manager at The Children’s Hospital Charity added: “We’ve just launched our biggest-ever fundraising appeal, and a transformed Cancer Ward has never been more needed as we strive to build a better future for Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
“Jamie, Scott and James’ fundraising will make a difference to young patients who come from across South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Derbyshire and depend on our hospital’s excellent care.”
You can donate/see our JustGiving page here
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Read more about the appeal here