Walkers put their best foot forward for floating hospital
- Credit: Mercy Ships
Former volunteer crew mates of the world's largest hospital ship took part in a sponsored walk from Royston to Therfield to raise money for life-saving surgery in Africa.
Royston residents Christine and Peter Brown joined Sandrine Gamaury, who is also from Royston, to take part in the challenge on Saturday - alongside Tim Farquhar and Holly Summers from Ashwell and Emily Stowe from Godmanchester.
The group walked 100 miles between them as part of the Captain Tom 100 Challenge, which encourages everyone to do 100 of something for charity in memory of Captain Sir Tom Moore.
The 17-mile per person hike raised £670 for Mercy Ships - smashing the group's £600 target.
Mercy Ships provides free medical care and surgery to those who would otherwise go without. Christine, Peter, Sandrine, Tim and Holly have all served on the floating hospital ship the Africa Mercy, while it was based in either Senegal or Cameroon.
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Speaking ahead of the walk, Christine, who is community partnerships manager at the charity, said: "Apart from my husband Peter, we also all work for Mercy Ships and we are all avid walkers who were looking for the perfect challenge.
"Despite being work colleagues none of have seen each other, apart from on screen, for over a year because of lockdown!
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"Having served on board twice and seen first-hand the incredible work that Mercy Ships does, I want to ask people to dig deep and help us smash our target."
The ships support existing healthcare systems in the world's poorest nations through surgery and care on its ships and by partnering with governments, hospitals and medical professionals on land.
In response to COVID-19, the charity has supported 11 nations and donated more than a million PPE kits.
Tim, who is the charity's digital marketing coordinator, said: "Volunteering onboard the Africa Mercy was a life-changing experience for me.
"I know that raising money can literally change lives and even save them - 17 million people die each year from conditions that could have been treated by surgery.
"Thanks to its volunteers and donors, Mercy Ships can reduce those tragic figures."