Staff from Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust will be running, cycling, kayaking, swimming and walking 3,021 miles in April – the distance from Preston to Raqqa in Northeast Syria – to raise money for Syria Relief. The Emergency Department and the Critical Care departments will be competing with each other to see who can raise the most money. The teams will begin their challenge on Thursday April 1st and there are currently over 170 members of staff signed up to take part.
Syria Relief are the UK’s largest Syria-focused NGO, with their UK headquarters in Salford, Greater Manchester, who operate 14 hospitals and healthcare facilities inside Syria and 306 schools and the implementing partner of choice for many UN bodies and global-NGOs, due to their ability to access hard-to-reach areas with high humanitarian needs inside Syria.
People can donate to Team Emergency Department here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/TeamEDPrestontoRaqqa
People can donate to Team Critical Care here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Team-CritCare
Dr Alison Sykes, a Consultant in Emergency Medicine one of the organisers of the challenge, says:
“It’s been a difficult and challenging twelve months for everyone in our two departments, the Critical Care Unit and the Emergency Department at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. There have been tears of sorrow, of frustration, but also of relief and of laughter.
“We all work in high pressure, high stakes environments but we are at our best when we come together to help others. This teamwork and unity behind our core value is what defines us. The Race to Raqqa is in essence what we do.
“Therefore, as we recover, we will be doing something positive for others along the way, helping those whose situation has been and remains far worse than anything that we have gone through.
“Thank you for supporting us, both during the pandemic and now in our Race to Raqqa for Syria Relief.”
Othman Moqbel, Syria Relief’s Chief Executive, says:
“We are so honoured to have the wonderful staff of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust supporting Syria Relief. There support is needed more than ever, as the humanitarian needs in Syria are worse now than they’ve been at any point throughout the 10 years of the conflict. Over 80% of Syrians live in poverty, inflation and unemployment is high, 13 million Syrians are in need of some form of humanitarian assistance, including access to food and clean water. Medical care is a huge need, with over 40% of all hospitals and healthcare facilities damaged or destroyed by the war. This war has increased the need for medical care, by injuring and maiming hundreds of thousands, but reduced the ability to respond to he needs by bombing hospitals.
“There have been close links between Syria Relief and NHS staff throughout the entirety of our existence. We were founded 10 years ago by four Syrian expats in the UK, three of whom are doctors. One of them, Dr Ayman Jundi, is our Chairman and a consultant at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. Throughout sieges and surges in violence in Syria our trustees, many of whom are doctors in the NHS, have travelled into Syria to perform emergency procedures, sometimes accompanied by passionate volunteers such as Dr David Nott, as detailed in his excellent book War Doctor.”