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More than 100 challenge fundraisers helped Raising Health smash it's £18,000 appeal target to buy three new 'vests' to keep poorly children out of hospital. The appeal was so successful that it raised £22,000 in 2017! 

What is a vest and how does it help?

The Hill-Rom high frequency chest wall oscillator vests are used by LPT’s children’s community respiratory physiotherapists in their treatment of sick children who suffer from recurrent chest infections. The vest is a highly effective device which improves the effectiveness of a child’s chest clearance, meaning they become unwell less frequently and so have improved quality of life.

Francesca Gattoni-Rowland, one of the children’s community respiratory physiotherapists explains: “The Hill Rom vests massively reduce the burden of care for parents, and ensure children are less susceptible to recurrent infections. The vests allow these very poorly children to be cared for at home. However, demand for this equipment is very high, and until now we’ve only had two vests for use across the whole of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.”

Leanne, mum to Ellis (both pictured above), said: “The vest has made a phenomenal difference to us as a family being able to look after Ellis at home, and there are lots of other children in a similar position who could really benefit from having access to this equipment.”

You can see the vest in action on Ellis in this short film (shared with kind thanks to BBC East Midlands Today). Thanks to the Vest Appeal, there are now five vests available for families to use when they need it. 

 
 

Fundraising challenge #1 - The Leicestershire Round Relay

    

More than 100 staff and friends of Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT) took part in a 24-hour charity challenge weekend, walking, running and cycling the length of the Leicestershire border to raise money for the Vest Appeal. 

The 110 mile Leicestershire Round relay started at 6pm on Friday 23 June 2017 from Newtown Linford, where it finished at 6pm the following day and included walking, running and cycling legs of varying lengths and difficulty levels. More than 100 members of LPT staff, family and friends took part, alongside the Raising Health knitted mascot (known as The Amazin’ Raisin’) to raise more than £15,000. 

LPT’s chief executive, Dr Peter Miller, said: “We set ourselves a massive challenge in taking on the Leicestershire Round, but as usual our staff came through with energy and enthusiasm in support of this incredible cause. I’m really proud of everyone who took part.”

The challenge was also supported by the Norman C Ashton Trust who supported the appeal with a grant of £1000. 

 

Fundraising challenge #2 - Land's End to John O'Groats

Two intrepid cyclists, Nick Taylor and Ian English, from local company Giant Crushing Ltd took on a gruelling nine-day challenge in September 2017, riding 969 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats, to raise £6,000 for the Vest Appeal. 

Nick and Ian set themselves the challenge of raising £6,000 - enough to pay for one extra vest. Ian said: “I’d already taken part in the Land’s End to John O’Groats race in 2014, so I thought I knew what I was letting myself in for.  But this time round, things were different! It rained every single day, and the rain was accompanied by harsh winds. It wasn’t the 969 miles of cycling that were difficult, it was the conditions we were riding and living in – it was like Glastonbury on two wheels!”

Of more than 600 riders who were due to take part in the race, 150 dropped out as a result of the severe weather conditions. However, Nick and Ian were made of sterner stuff. Their passion and sheer determination meant they made it to the finish line.

Nick said: “It was certainly tough, but we’re just so glad we were able to raise enough money to make a real difference to these little ones and their families. We felt such a massive sense of achievement, and the final few miles in particular were incredibly emotional. It was absolutely brilliant!”

In the end, Nick and Ian raised a phenomenal £4,593 in sponsorship which was topped up by Giant Crushing Ltd to reach their £6,000 goal (the cost of one Hill Rom Vest).