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Lancashire
Thursday, July 25, 2024

Soldier’s 24-hour power row for poorly children

A SOLDIER and his colleagues will take turns on a rowing machine in a 24-hour slog to raise money for Derian House Children’s Hospice.

Over two days (24 and 25 October), 29-year-old Corporal Andy Billingham and his army pals will assemble in the shop window of Preston’s Army Careers hub to sweat it out on a rowing machine.

The team will be taking donations throughout the day, with all proceeds going towards care for children with life-limiting illnesses across the North West.

Andy, from Wolverhampton, currently an Army recruiter based at the Preston office, said: “I move around often in my role, so while I’m in Preston I want to do something for the local community.

“Finding out about the incredible work Derian does for local children and their families made my decision – I want to do something for them. I walk past the Derian charity shop every day too so it just made sense.

“You don’t want to see anyone struggling but children affect you differently. I have eight nieces and nephews, a big family, and I’m the godfather of my best mate’s son. If it were my family, I’d want them to have that support that Derian can provide.

“We’re going to do it in the front window of the office so that anyone walking past can see what we’re doing and donate. We’ll be splitting it into 30 minute shifts but I’m going to try and do as many of those as I can. Hopefully I’ll be fine and won’t keel over!

“As soldiers we have that mentality to not give up, but there are always times where you still feel like that. You’ve got to think about the bigger picture – what the charity does for families. A few hours on a rowing machine is nothing compared to that.”

Ann-Marie Fishwick, Community Fundraiser at Derian House, said: “Care at Derian House is free for families but it costs £5.7million to run services every year.

“We rely on the kindness of our supporters, like Andy and his team, who go out of their way to help us care for children whose lives are too short. We wish them all the best of luck in their rowing challenge!”

Derian House provides respite and end-of-life care to more than 450 children and young people across the North West.

Donate to Andy’s challenge: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/andy-billingham3

Find out more about Derian House: https://www.derianhouse.co.uk/

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