On the morning of Wednesday 23rd December nightshift worker Lee Crook, of Sainsbury’s Didcot, will be undertaking an epic sponsored walk to raise funds with Play2Give for the Oxford Children’s Hospital as well as the Sue Ryder Hospice in Nettlebed.
Play2Give raises funds for the Children’s Hospital, and Lee has been inspired to help Play2Give’s fundraising aims after the store supported the fundraising organisation for a year as its local charity of the year until July, 2015. Lee was one of those in the store committee who chose Play2Give to benefit in July 2014 from a year’s worth of fundraising support and awareness.
Lee has done various fundraising antics to support Play2Give for the hospital with Movember in November 2014, to a 1000km sponsored walk over 10 weeks in the summer, to obtaining a signed shirt from the Reading FC legends in the spring to this latest venture. In total he has raised over £1,000.
On Wednesday 23rd Dec, once his nightshift is complete, Lee will embark on the estimated 4-hour 15-mile stroll, via the safest route possible, whilst dressed as the big bearded man himself, yes Santa Claus, with a big sack full of toys hauled over his back – toys which will be given out post walk to the kids hospital wards upon arrival at Chox. Lee has already raised over £350 in sponsorship for his very festive stroll, and only aimed for £200. He aims to arrive at the Children’s Hospital on the John Radcliffe site by 12pm (anticipated).
Then, Santa will meet his helper, as every Santa needs a good elf to carry out his duties, so Play2Give’s founder and Lee’s inspiration, Andrew Baker, of Didcot, will meet Santa Lee at the Children’s Hospital upon completion of the walk, then the pair along with supporter of Play2Give, Paul Tucker (who runs Kidactive Oxford childcare company) who’ll also be dressed as Santa, will visit the children’s hospital wards ladened with toys games and puzzles donated by generous supporters. Andrew will of course be dressed as an Elf.
One of the wards the trio will visit will be Melanie’s Ward, the teenage ward, which Play2Give is aiming to achieve an overall £40,000 towards its fundraising for the Hospital. Once the £40,000 is reached (with an aim to do so in 2016) a room will be named in Play2Give’s honour. The Play2Give Room will be a great testament to the years of support and hard work the Play2Give group, led by Andrew, has provided to the children’s hospital. So far, Play2Give have contributed over £36,000 to the Children’s Hospital, which has all helped towards not just helping the hospital initially be built and opened in 2007, but towards medical equipment and facilities above and beyond NHS standard, as well as entertainment and sensory and distraction items for the children whilst undergoing treatments and procedures.
Sainsbury’s in Didcot is currently supporting the Sue Ryder hospice in Nettlebed, as its local charity of the year. The store raised a record £4,310 in total for Play2Give over 12 months until July, which was enthused by the staff from a passionate and inspirational Andrew, where many events in each month was held and organised to raise the funds.