Hannah Gaisford, a 34 year old nurse from Bath is taking on an extreme challenge by cycling 3,000 miles to Bulgaria in support of the Royal United Hospitals Bath, and will involve cycling an average of 50 miles per day for two months.
Hannah has been working as a nurse at the RUH since 2018, starting in Accident and Emergency for almost two years, then moving to the Biologics Day Unit in March 2021. Hannah explains why she wants to take on this amazing challenge and raise funds for RUHX:
“Working in Bath A&E, even for a short time, was eye opening. To witness first-hand the strain the department was under, almost every minute of every day, was unbelievable. Somehow, in the most chaotic of environments, the team still managed to lift you up and keep you going, even when they were struggling just as much as you. I think the team there are incredible, my thoughts are with them whenever I see an ambulance fly past and I know the pressures are only increasing.
“My time at the RUH has had a huge impact on me, it’s been tough at times but the support has always been there. I recently attended a Mindfulness class which was funded by RUHX. From my own experience I feel that the hospital continues to try it’s hardest to provide the highest standard of care it can in its current situation. I want to fundraise for RUHX because I feel the hospital is so deserving of any donations that can be raised.”
She will be cycling through a total of 11 countries and is planning to follow the Euro Velo 6 long-distance cycle route also known as the ‘Rivers Route’, which follows the river Loire and Danube all the way to the Black Sea. Hannah told us she has chosen this particular route because it “looked beautiful and fairly well trodden and in theory I shouldn’t get lost if the river is nearby! I’ve been bike packing and cycling for the last few years, building up to something as big as this but never quite finding the right moment to go for it.”
Hannah set off from our hospital on Sunday 15 May with her friends from the Emergency Department who all volunteered to cycle from the RUH to Portsmouth Harbour for the first leg of her journey.
Karlie Evans, Events and Community Manager at RUHX said: “taking on a challenge like this is a fantastic way to help our hospital to continue to provide extraordinary healthcare for everyone, as well as to enable our charity to support the wellbeing of our staff. We wish Hannah all the best for her exciting adventure and very much look forward to hearing all of her stories when she returns!”