So, I have started my #FitIn15 challenge of walking an extra 15 minutes each day, and have been putting my £1 in my super collection box every time I have done so. My walk takes me through Hyde Park and apart from wishing I had a dog to walk with me, it’s a really lovely part of my day and I feel it is doing me good. 

It is also doing the Patients’ Fund good, as all proceeds from #FitIn15 go towards this special appeal. Even in this modest way, I want to say thank you to the NHS for all it has done for me and this is a great way to do so. From being there when I fell off my bike aged six, to dealing with a most unromantic hernia, through to caring for me while having my three children, I have taken the NHS for granted. 

When the children arrived, I became deeply grateful that the various doctors, nurses, reception staff – absolutely everyone – have been there for them when they needed them.

Then came a deeper understanding, when I started to work with our two fantastic hospitals. I see amazing skill, deep care, professionalism, and a strong sense of purpose every day. No wonder the NHS is the envy of the world, with free healthcare at the point of need. 

So, my £1 each day for 70 days may be small, but if you join me, we could create a small movement that could grow. This is definitely one of the most personal campaigns I have ever been involved with. 

And what is The Patients’ Fund? It runs quietly alongside the giant campaigns that our Charity undertakes, like a loyal friend. While the Charity focuses on helping to build Intensive Care Units, grow vital Genetics Laboratories, work with our paediatric intensive care team to create a more welcoming space for parents and a hundred other campaigns that come and go, the Patients’ Fund is there – a constant part of our work. And it is there to cover the cost of things that the NHS can’t pay for but that make a huge difference to the lives of our patients, and therefore their families, and the NHS staff who look after them. Things like cooling fans, and warming blankets, camp beds for parents of sick children to sleep on and music to entertain patients.

And all I do is have a lovely walk through the park and put £1 in a collection box – why don’t you join me?

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