Devoted nurses take on 12 challenges in 12 months to boost Manchester NHS funds

  • Report by Paul Crone, ITV News Granada Reports

Two nurses from the same NHS Trust have both set themselves 12 challenges in 12 months to raise money for their hospitals.

Lauren Baybutt who works at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and Luke O’Hara from Wythenshawe Hospital, set themselves the challenges separately, to raise money for Manchester Foundation Trust Charity.

They'd never met or heard of each other before, but the hospital trust found out they were both doing similar challenges across the year - Luke's activities will all be marathons, Lauren’s will be a mix of running and walking events.

However, both will be travelling down to the capital in April for the London Marathon and say it’s the event they’re looking forward to the most.

Lauren Baybutt outside the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital where she works Credit: Lauren Baybutt

Lauren, who is a Clinical Educator at the children’s hospital, said: “I’m looking forward to all of the challenges but I think the one I’m most excited about is the London Marathon.

"It’s such a famous event and it will mean even more to me that I’m doing it for the hospital where I work.

“I’m also looking forward to a challenge I set myself of 4 miles every 4 hours for 48 hours inSeptember. Friends from my running club will be joining me for different bits.

"It will also be short bursts that are often, rather than one long slog, so I think that will be interesting.

“I’m also part of Team MFT doing the Great Manchester Run Half Marathon in May. That will me a memorable one and nice to do an event in the city.”

Luke O'Hara at work in Wythenshawe Hospital Credit: Luke O'Hara

Luke, who works as an ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) Coordinator atWythenshawe, said: “My first marathon was Sevilla in Spain and I had the best time.

"The marathon had such a good atmosphere and I was so excited because I managed to get a personal best.

“I’m most looking forward to London. It’s just such an iconic run and watching on TV it looks like such an amazing atmosphere.

“It will also be nice to know there will be a little gang of us doing it for Manchester Foundation Trust Charity and Lauren will be one of them.”

Lauren’s money will be spent on treatment, research and care projects at Royal ManchesterChildren’s Hospital while Luke’s will be channelled by the Charity to Wythenshawe Hospital.

Both felt passionate about giving back to the hospitals where they work.

Lauren after finishing an event in Blackpool Credit: Lauren Baybutt

Lauren, 28, works on Ward 78 Neurosurgery, Neurology, Orthopaedics, Spinal Surgery and ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) and started at MFT as a staff nurse.

She is now a Clinical Educator and works in Ward 78 as well as various departments throughout the hospital.

“I work with a variety of staff and help them with clinical training as well as completing their ward induction when they first start,” explained Lauren.

“I also do some training with parents and families – for example helping them with how to place and look after a tracheotomy tube on their child, so I like that I’ve retained some of the patient contact.

“It’s great that this challenge allows me to fundraise for the place I work and I’m so passionate about.”

Luke, who turned 30 in February, works on the ECMO unit, where some of the most severely ill patients in the country are treated.

ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) uses cutting- edge technologies to take over a patient’s heart and lung functions to allow these organs to recover.

Patients with severe heart and lung conditions, including Covid-19, have been treated on the unit, which is one of only five adult ECMO centres in the country.

He said: “Some patients are with us for a week, others are with us for months and months. Patients come from all over the North West, from Carlisle to Leeds and the Isle of Man.

“We get to know families really well. Building that relationship with them and the patients is really important, especially if they’re someone who is with us long-term.

“The most rewarding part is when you see someone doing really well. They come back with their kids or their partners to show us how well they’ve got on. It makes a huge difference to us and it’s why we all do the job.”

Luke O'Hara with his medal after completing the Loch Ness Marathon Credit: Luke O'Hara

Both inspirational staff members have set themselves a target of £2,000 and are excited to be raising money for their hospitals.

Angela Rowe, the Senior Manager for Community Fundraising at Manchester Foundation Trust Charity, said: “Lauren and Luke are both inspirational and are putting so much effort into their training and events.

“It’s unusual for us to get people doing 12 challenges in 12 months, let alone in the same year from the same organisation! It’s nice for them that they’ll get a chance to meet up, support each other and compare notes when they take on the London Marathon.

“We can’t wait to hear how both of them get on throughout the year and see all the amazing pictures from their events.”

You can sponsor Lauren here on her JustGiving Page and sponsor Luke on his JustGiving Page here.

To find out more about Manchester Foundation Trust Charity, its projects, and how you can support the cause click here

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