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Cardiac staff go the extra mile for people of Ukraine

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Swansea Bay University Health Board staff are going the extra mile to help raise funds for those affected by the conflict in Ukraine.

Eighteen members of staff from the Cardiac Intensive Therapy Unit (ITU) and cardiac theatres at Morriston Hospital will be raising their heart rates as they aim to reach more than 1,500 miles over the next four weeks.

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Between them they will clock up 1,639.5 miles, the distance between the hospital and the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, as they take part in the group distance challenge.

Each person can choose to walk, run, jog, cycle or swim so they bump up their mileage between now and Thursday 27th April.

The idea came about after Cardiac ITU senior sister, Emma John, decided she wanted to do something to try to help the people of Ukraine.

“There’s a small group of us and every so often we do group challenges or step challenges,” Emma, who is also a well-being champion, said.

“You see all of the awful things happening on the news and you feel so helpless and think ‘what can you do to help?’ so I asked my team of well-being champions.

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“We came up with the idea of an activity challenge and, as there are a lot of miles to cover, we thought if we did a group challenge we would be able to raise money and complete the mileage as a team.

“We thought of walking the distance between Morriston Hospital and Kyiv so we worked out the number of miles and decided to cover it as a group over a month.”

While those taking part will be able to monitor their own miles each day, a dedicated person will keep track of the weekly miles that have been covered so a running total can be kept.

There will even be opportunities for group exercises too so staff can increase their miles together.

Emma added: “We are all at different fitness and activity levels and I know some people are using this as a way to get back into doing some exercise.

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“You don’t have to go and do a 15-mile walk, you can just convert your daily steps into miles. It will even help to add up the miles if you’re walking the dog.

“We do have some people who run half marathons so the mileage is going to be different for each person. It’s just whatever activity each person wants to do.

As well as raising money, it will be great for staff well-being too.”

All of the money raised during the challenge will be donated to the Disaster Emergency Committee for Ukraine, with staff setting themselves a target of £1,000.

The team hope the money raised will help make a difference to those who have had to flee their homes to escape the ongoing conflict.

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Emma said: “We have all felt helpless and have been touched by what we have been seeing on the news over the past few weeks.

“We wanted to do something in order to help those who have been affected.”

Lead image: Emma John (left) and some of the team taking part in the fundraising challenge (Image: Swansea Bay NHS)

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