When I applied for my job here in 2018, one of the questions asked in my interview was ‘How do you feel about the NHS?’ I wracked my brain for words strong enough to describe how much I owe the National Health Service, eventually describing myself as an NHS superfan!
Over the years, Southmead Hospital, and NHS staff across the country, have put a lot of time, skill and precious resources into caring for my nearest and dearest.
Last year alone, my Dad was admitted to the Emergency Department, my Grandmother came in for an x-ray after a fall, two friends were treated here for cancer and my cousin continued their treatment on one of our Parkinson’s research studies. I was even a premature baby born and cared for right here at the hospital.
We’re so lucky to have world class healthcare on our doorstep here in Bristol. Anything I can do to support that – sign me up!
As someone who really enjoys getting out and about on a bike, I’m always looking for the next big cycling challenge to tick off my list. Never having done a ride at night, Nightrider was too good an opportunity to miss. The route was an adventure through deepest, darkest (literally) Bristol, with plenty of hills and torturously passing my house on each of the three loops! It was a brilliant event and I’d definitely recommend it to any two-wheeled fundraisers looking for something a little different.
During my working week at Southmead, I spend a lot of time bringing in other musicians, so coming into the space myself with my performer’s hat on for The Great Bristol Buskathon makes a nice change. I particularly enjoy performing around Christmas time and watching people’s faces light up when they hear their favourite pieces being played.
At each stage of my fundraising journey – cycling 100km for Nightrider, helping to make the Fresh Arts Bake Sale the biggest one ever, rowing almost 10km in 45 minutes in the Brunel Building atrium for Run, Row, Ride – I’ve felt supported, encouraged, and valued by the whole Charity team. I couldn’t have asked for any more and would encourage anyone to get involved in a fundraising event. You won’t be disappointed and the rewards are MASSIVE!
The last year has been so incredibly difficult for all of us, but there has never been a time when the NHS has needed our support more and I’m very eager to rise to the challenge!
As long as there is a road to be cycled, a cake to be baked (or eaten), or an atrium to play music in, I’ll be here, doing my bit. Hopefully this year, it will include 1,000 miles of cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats for my big 4-0. It’s a brilliant charity to support and I’ve already had a lot of fun doing so.
Because of my long history with Southmead Hospital, it’s a place that is really special to me. For me, coming here and offering what support I can feels a bit like coming home.
Sign up for one of our challenge events to raise money for your local NHS in Bristol. Please contact Hannah for more information and to start your fundraising.