Date of release: 28 May 2020
A nurse from The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust has completed a runathon which has raised £10,000 for the organisation with the help of Wolverhampton and Bilston Athletics Club.
Nelam Kumari, from Oxley, Wolverhampton, took part in a runathon after friends and team-mates decided to try to help raise money as a thank you to the NHS during the pandemic. Nelam, 48, who has two grown-up sons, currently works in Cardiothoracic ward and ICCU, where she has been redeployed from Cardiac Outpatients.
Kellie Green, a close friend of Nelam’s from the club, had the brainchild of a 48-hour relay over an entire weekend, where people each ran for an hour before passing a virtual ‘baton’ to the next runner. A Just Giving page was set up to raise money and a Facebook live was displayed, along with a selfie of each runner, so people could see who was running and support them online. Runners paid £5 to run a minimum of five kilometres, then each passed the ‘baton’ on to five others. Nelam, who ran five miles, was one of 45 members who completed the challenge, averaging six miles, although some ran eight to ten miles. Donations from their families and friends ranged from £5 to £500.
Kellie, 43, from Perton and a mother of 12-year-old twin girls, said: “We wanted to support Nelam and the rest of the New Cross Hospital staff and we wondered what we could do as a small gesture to say thank you. We love running and it’s certainly good for your mental health too.”
Kellie, who works as an account manager for Avara Foods, added: “We linked in with The Steve Bull Foundation which was already doing great work for local hospitals in this crisis. Our initial target was £1,000 but within two days of going live we were already at £500 so we stretched it to £5,000. As of today we are at £10,145 including gift aid, which is truly amazing under the current circumstances.”
Some of the money has already been put to good use to buy scrubs and a microwave, while an ice machine and other items are planned, such as a new Christmas tree and decorations for the wards.
Nelam started running in 2015 when she joined Wolverhampton and Bilston having had no previous experience. Inspired by new friends she met through running, she now trains three times a week and has completed half marathons at Oxford, Wolverhampton, Stafford and Amsterdam.
She said: “We have a WhatsApp group chat together and I have shared some of my experiences at work on there. Since COVID-19 these guys have been amazing - the telephone calls, messages and gifts have been amazing and the love they provide has been immense. Our coaches, Fred and Tina, who are 73, are inspirational. No matter who you are or what your background, you are made to feel part of the running family.”
Nelam added: “Kellie, who is Fred and Tina’s daughter, is more than a friend – she is an amazing individual who wears her heart on her sleeve. She contacted me and told me what she was going to do. My running family came out to support me with whistles and horns and they met me at the finishing line to say a big thank you. I want to take this opportunity to thank them for what they have done for the NHS and also for the support they have given mentally and physically.”
Notes to Editor