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A team of NHS workers have raised more than £16,300 for the Christian Mission Hospital in Vellore, India, to help pay for vital medical supplies as the country battles soaring Covid-19 infection rates.

The chronic pain unit team based at Maidstone Hospital set themselves an initial target of raising £500 when they unveiled plans to hold a 24 hour pedalathon to help their overseas colleagues. But they soon upped the amount to £5,000, then £10,000 and finally £15,000 after the donations started rolling in.

A total of 29 people took it in turns to pedal on the spin bike which was based in the unit when the challenge kicked off at 9.30am on Saturday 1 May. As well as raising a phenomenal amount of money just four days after announcing the challenge, they also managed to cycle a total of 661.1km between them!

Andy Colyer, Chronic Pain Clinical Administration Unit Lead, said: “It is totally devastating and heart-breaking to comprehend that hospitals in India are running out of oxygen or unable to offer patients a bed.

“Reflecting on our own experiences, which seemed very harsh at the time, clearly pails into insignificance compared to our Indian colleagues and the Indian public. Seeing the impromptu expansion of funeral pyres into car parks and other public spaces motivated the chronic pain unit team to try and help.

“We are truly humbled by the amount of money raised thanks to the generosity of friends and family members, our colleagues across MTW as well as patients and complete strangers who saw our appeal on the Trust’s social media channels too. We are extremely grateful to everyone for their support.”

You can still support the team by donating via their JustGiving page which will remain open until the Monday 31 May 2021 –