Nurse takes on five charitable challenges

Luke Strong and Betsy the unicorn
Luke Strong and Betsy the unicorn

Published on 28 August 2019

A nurse is getting on his bike – and an inflatable unicorn – for a series of challenges to raise money for East Kent Hospitals Charity.

Luke Strong, who works in the intensive care unit at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, has committed to five events and hopes to raise £1,000 for the charity’s appeal to provide a sensory garden for the unit.

So far, he has successfully completed a dragonboat race, a 10k run, a half marathon, and a 100-mile cycle around London, and he still has a 10k duathlon to tackle.

He said: “My ward manager, Natalie Daly, encouraged me to sign up for the Ride London event, and somehow during a night shift I decided that wasn’t enough and I should sign up for more.

“When I’d got to five different events I thought I should probably stop. Now my aim is just to finish them all.

“The 10k run was on one of the hottest days of the year and I decided to run in Betsy, my noble steed and a fancy dress costume from years ago. We were certainly noticed – and hot!”

Luke will get on his bike for the Chilham duathlon in September.

He said: “There are moments when I wonder why I’m putting myself through this. But then I think about the benefit the garden will bring to our patients.

“It will mean they can get out and feel the sunshine and breathe the fresh air, and it will reduce some of the confusion that people in intensive care often experience.

“We want it to be a sanctuary away from the machines and the noises on the ward where people can spend time with their families and start to feel better.”

Some of Luke’s colleagues have completed their own challenges for the appeal, including two of the consultants. Staff are hoping to start work on the garden later this year.

To donate to the intensive care unit appeal and East Kent Hospitals Charity, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fcampaigns/charity/ekhc/criticalcarewhh