On Sunday 10th of April 2016, Tom Bonfield of Hillside Product Design and five teammates took part in Tough Guy, a world famous endurance challenge, in aid of the Jessie May Trust.
Once all pledges were made, including contributions from Vodafone UK, a grand total of £830 was raised for the charity, which provides at-home nursing care for children with life-limiting conditions in the Bristol, Bath, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.
The Jessie May Trust is a Bristol-based charity providing nursing care at home for children and young people with life limiting conditions who are not expected to live beyond the age of 19.
Jessie May was established in September 1994 by Chris and Philippa Purrington, following the death of their baby daughter Jessica May. She died from a genetic condition known as severe Spinal Muscular Atrophy when she was only 4½ months old.
Jessica’s parents were determined to do what they could to enable other children with conditions like Jessica’s and their families to have support in their own homes and the choice to die at home when that time comes.”
One of the runners, Tash, is a children’s nurse for the Jessie May Trust, and sees first-hand the emotional and physical burden that seriously or terminally ill children and their families must endure. Jessie May are there to provide care, respite and play for the children and their families, when otherwise round-the-clock care would utterly exhaust a family.
Tash said, “The challenge consisted of a 10km run through a demanding assault course in the Staffordshire countryside. Water obstacles, mud pits, barbed wire crawls, climbs over high towers, fire jumps, rope bridges, tunnel crawls, and electric fences are laid out along the length of the run.”
Tom continued by saying, “It was very hard work, but very rewarding. It’s safe to say everyone enjoyed it (despite the grumbling at the colder, muddier bits) – and we far exceeded our funding target which is fantastic.”
Despite being soaked through, bruised and frozen by the windy conditions, the team completed the event in 2 hours 40 minutes (not last!). The immense support the team received from all those who donated, as well as from each other by dragging each other over, under, and through obstacles mean that a charity which is almost wholly reliant on voluntary donations can reach out to more families in need of support.
“Having seen the bruises and grazes first hand, as a result of what Tom endured, it is obvious that the challenge really is as bad as it looks. Hillside give practical support to it’s staff for all these types of activities and we admire Tom for making this huge effort for a very worthwhile charity,” said Chris Howsam, Director Hillside Product Design.
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