Gurkhas' charity run raises thousands

Gurkhas handing over a cheque to East Kent Hospitals Charity
Nicky Bentley receiving the cheque from Lt Col Chris Conway. Photo: Crown Copyright 2020

Published on 16 June 2020

Gurkhas handed over a cheque for more than £6,300 to East Kent Hospitals Charity after completing a relay run of the distance from John O’Groats to Land’s End at their barracks near Folkestone.

Members of the 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles covered the 1956km at their barracks in Shorncliffe over 94 hours. 

The money will go to the charity’s Helping your Hospitals appeal, supporting front-line staff at the William Harvey Hospital during the coronavirus pandemic.

Nicky Bentley, director for strategic development at East Kent Hospitals, said: “It was really humbling to attend the cheque presentation and be able to thank the regiment for their dedication in raising funds for staff wellbeing initiatives at the William Harvey Hospital. 

“We are so grateful to the regiment for undertaking this marathon challenge and look forward to being able to use the funds to refurbish showering facilities.”

The regiment wanted to support staff at the William Harvey because of its close links with the hospital; many of the staff are spouses or relatives of Gurkhas, and some of the soldiers’ children have been born there too. 

Corporal Naresh Rai, whose wife works at the hospital and who helped organise the run with Sergeant Indra Gurung, said: “We feel very privileged to have been able to support our local NHS Hospital during this pandemic.

“Our run was testing but nowhere near as hard as the challenges faced by the staff at William Harvey. 

“We have raised a small amount of money but hope that this expression of our gratitude will make a difference to the staff at the William Harvey Hospital.”

Lieutenant Colonel Chris Conroy, Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles said: “As the local hospital providing care to our soldiers and their families, we are extremely grateful for the excellent work which the hospital Trust continues to deliver. 

“The William Harvey Hospital goes the extra mile to accommodate the specific cultural and social nuances of the Gurkha-Nepali population and it has been great to see the way in which Sergeant Indra and Corporal Naresh have been able to give something back.  As a battalion, we look forward to continuing to maintain this relationship.”

For more information about the regiment’s fundraising, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/naresh-rai