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Can you go the distance? Aberdeen nurses challenging locals to take part in mileage event for charity

Nurses are encouraging businesses and locals to take part in Friends of Anchor Go the Distance mileage event to raise money for charity. Supplied by Friends of Anchor.
Nurses are encouraging businesses and locals to take part in Friends of Anchor Go the Distance mileage event to raise money for charity. Supplied by Friends of Anchor.

North-east businesses and the public are being encouraged to take part in Friends of Anchor Go the Distance challenge.

Running for it’s fourth time, the mileage event aims to raise money in the name of cancer research.

Beginning on March 1, nurses caring for cancer and hematology patients in the North-east are keen to see people sign up.

Nurses say funds raised are ‘vital’ in driving forward care

Ann Officer, a nurse within the Anchor ward at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary (ARI) will be taking part this year. She will be doing it alongside her sister and brother-in-law who live in Dubai.

She said: “Because it’s virtual, you can take part from absolutely anywhere. We’re looking forward to some healthy international competition as a family.”

Ms Officer has taken on running challenges in the past. Having helped to raise money for Friends of Anchor and working within the unit, she said she sees the first-hand value of the charity’s support.

Picture shows Anchor ANPs Louise Dukelow and Beverly Brown and Anchor nurse Ann Officer. Supplied by Friends of Anchor.

She added: “Alongside patient wellbeing and medical equipment, research is a key part of Friends of Anchor’s commitment to the patients, and it’s vital in driving forward cancer and haematology care.

“Every penny raised during Going the Distance will directly fund pioneering projects looking into the cause, diagnosis and treatment of various cancers.”

Beverley Brown, an advanced nurse practitioner within the Anchor Unit said taking part also gave the staff a boost.

She added: “Last year the advanced nurse practitioners within the department entered a team and it gave us all such a morale boost.

“Since we work long hours inside, we really welcomed the motivation to get out and enjoy the outdoors. It was great to know that while doing so, we were giving something back to Friends of Anchor for the research the charity funds.”

This year, Beverley plans to even clock up miles by snowboard, with a trip to a snow resort planned.

You can walk, cycle or paddleboard to clock those miles

Adding to the calls for people to join in, charity director at Friends of Anchor, Sarah-Jane Hogg, said they needed help to reach their target.

She said: “We need people to come on board and help us reach our target of 100,000 miles; one mile for every pound we pledge to cancer research every year.”

Mrs Hogg said the money raised helps to continue giving funding to local research and helps to work towards diagnosis and treatment.

The campaign, Going the Distance launches on Tuesday March 1 and is open to all ages, abilities and fitness levels.

Those taking part can can walk, run, cycle, skate or even scoot. Miles covered by water will count towards the goal as well meaning paddleboarding, swimming and rowing are not off the table.

Mrs Hogg’s daughters Sadie and Sienna took part in last year’s challenge. Supplied by Friends of Anchor.

Everyone signing up will receive a mileage tracker and access to an online community and guide filled with local routes to keep them motivated. Businesses and schools who sign up will also receive a dedicated fundraising pack and support.

Mrs Hogg added: “With many people returning to work in-person, it’s a great opportunity to keep track of steps throughout the day or take a much-needed break from the screen for a walk.”

She encourages local businesses to join those already signed up such as Entier, James Jamieson Construction and Craig International.

She added: “It’s a great way to top up the team spirit and get some friendly competition going between local businesses.

“As ever with Friends of Anchor, every penny of every pound will go to the cause, making a direct difference in the trajectory of cancer research.”

In the past, the charity’s mileage challenge has raised funds for vital patient transport and accommodation during lockdown, patient comfort packs and cancer research.


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