Great Grandad Gets on His Bike to Raise Money for NHS Lothian

Great Grandad Gets on His Bike to Raise Money for NHS Lothian
April 29, 2020

Great Grandad, Jim Hay, 83, who has eight great grandchildren, has cycled from his flat in Portland, Dorset to the Nightingale Hospital in London and back to raise money for NHS Lothian.

Jim, originally from Fife, decided he would take on the 380 Mile virtual cycle challenge after his daughter bought him an exercise bike to keep him fit and healthy during his 12 week isolation.

Jim, who suffers from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and had five stents put in his heart in 2017, takes his blood pressure every morning then does his miles for the day in 5 mile stints to make sure he is not overdoing it. His family also check in on him regularly by phone to make sure he is OK. He started his challenge on 17 April, reaching London on 21 April and returning back to Portland on 28 April.

Keen cyclist, Jim said: “I love cycling and have really enjoyed using the exercise bike to bring my outdoor hobby indoors. The challenge has been great and I am really humbled by the support I have received. It was this support and encouragement that kept me going.

“I listen to audio books and take frequent breaks to get a cup of tea. I start by 7am and try to finish by early afternoon so that I can sit and relax and watch my favourite programmes on TV.

“The NHS has done so much for my family so it means a lot for me to be able to do this and give something back.”

Jim’s son John set up his dad’s JustGiving page and has been keeping his supporters updated with his progress and photos each day. John said: “I am immensely proud of my dad. This challenge has given him something to concentrate on while he is stuck indoors. It’s great that he’s keeping fit while he is shielding and able to continue his love of cycling.”

Jim set himself an initial fundraising target of £500, and has raised more than double that. The money raised will go to Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation’s Covid-19 Rapid Response Fund. As the official charity partner of NHS Lothian, Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation launched the appeal to support the health and emotional wellbeing of NHS staff and patients during the Coronavirus pandemic, above and beyond that which NHS funding provides.

Head of Fundraising at Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation, Nicola Sinclair said: “We are so grateful to everyone who is fundraising for our NHS Lothian Covid-19 Appeal. The support has been amazing and it is clear to see how much the local community values the work that the frontline staff are doing.

“Thanks to fundraisers like Jim, we have already supported a number of initiatives, including setting up comfortable places where staff can take a much-needed rest away from clinical settings, giving them nutritious meals and refreshments to sustain energy levels during long and busy shifts, counselling support to protect mental health, accommodation costs for staff who are self isolating from their families, and helping patients themselves to stay in touch with their loved ones through virtual visiting while social distancing restrictions are in place.

“As this crisis develops, there is no doubt the needs of staff and patients will change and we will continue to provide a fast and flexible response both now and in the recovery from Coronavirus.

“We couldn’t do this without our supporters, so I just want to say, well done, Jim, what an achievement! I’m looking forward to hearing about your next challenge.”

To find out more about what Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation is doing to support NHS Lothian staff and patient wellbeing during the Coronavirus pandemic, visit our Covid-19 Appeal page.

Or, if you would like to donate or link your fundraising activities to our Covid-19 Appeal, follow the link below to our JustGiving page.

NHS Lothian Covid-19 Appeal