Bedford residents urged to go ‘One Million Miles’ to help A&E hospital fundraiser

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Debbie Inskip and Ismail Anilmis of Bedford Hospital Charity and Friends launch the One Million Miles campaign

People throughout Bedfordshire are being asked to help clock up a combined total of one million miles to help raise funds towards a new children’s A&E and CT scanner for Bedford Hospital.

Anyone registering to take part can walk, swim, run, row, cycle, roller-skate or even dance to generate their miles – every single one counts, no matter how you do it.

Individuals, work colleagues, schools and organisations are encouraged to take part and it’s hoped that friendly rivalries will develop as the miles begin to rack up.

It’s just £15 for an individual to register and every penny of that money will go towards the £1m fundraising target.

The One Million Miles challenge is being organised by Bedford Hospital Charity and Friends (BHC&F) who are determined to raise £1m for their A&E appeal.

Their aim is to significantly improve the facilities in Bedford Hospital’s A&E department by creating a dedicated paediatric A&E.

They’ll also donate a state-of-the-art Computerised Tomography (CT) scanner for the recently extended and upgraded A&E department at Bedford Hospital.

Around 20 patients per day, both adults and children, who attend A&E currently require urgent CT scans within an hour of arrival and some within 30 minutes.

This new CT scanner will allow a much better standard of care and assessment of these patients and all as swiftly as possible.

Businessman and BHC&F fundraiser, Ismail Anilmis DL, is leading the One Million Miles campaign.

“We want to do something that is accessible to everyone, while helping them keep active,” said Ismail, whose multi-franchise McDonald’s restaurant group has raised thousands of pounds for charities over the past decade.

Those taking part could be parents on the school run, grandparents, dog-walkers, runners, rugby players, kayakers, paddle boarders, dancers, parent and toddler groups, schools, teenagers who walk to school rather than going by mum’s taxi or people walking the golf course.

Bedford Parkrun
Bedford Parkrunners in pre-Covid times (photo credit www.adcfilms.co.uk)

If you’re taking part in an organised race – from a Parkrun to a marathon – you can add your training miles as well as race miles to your tally.

“All contributions will be gratefully received,” said BHC&F chair, Debbie Inskip.

“Everyone can help and know they are supporting our local hospital and the life-saving services it provides to children and adults alike.

“So that we can follow your activity, it would be great if you could use #OneMillionMiles when posting on social media.”

The One Million Miles campaign is now live and will run until the end of the year.

“We look forward to getting to know everyone taking part and seeing your photos during this campaign,” said Debbie.

The overall £1 Million A&E Appeal will be taking donations from various other sources including events planned for 2022.

Some of the One Million Miles reusable water bottles have already been donated to the extended NHS by Ismail and Ann-Marie, his wife, of I&A Restaurants.

They have been given to the vaccination and volunteer teams at the vaccination centres, in Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire, to save on the waste of plastic bottles.

“None of us knows when we will need the support of our caring A&E staff – hopefully, not soon, but we can all take comfort in the knowledge that we helped make it a better facility for everyone in our hour of need,” said Ismail.

Anyone can register to join the challenge here and in return, they will get a welcome pack which will include one of the branded reusable water bottles.

Once registered, people can set up a fundraising page via onemillionmiles.co.uk.

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