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Dad, Andy completes 19 mile run to raise funds

The father of a child who was born at 24 weeks and survived has completed a 19-mile run to raise money for the neonatal unit that helped his family. Andy Richards, 38, from

Telford, took part in a spon- sored run on Saturday in aid of the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital neonatal unit. The unit cared for his daughter Poppy who was born on 7 July 2010 weigh- ing 1lb 7 oz (652g).

Mr Richards has raised

£2,000 so far and plans to raise £20,000 by 2013. The money raised will go towards helping the unit pur- chase specialist equipment such as ventilators or brain cooling devices to help other babies.

Mr Richards, a system administrator for Capgem- ini

business consultants,

completed the run with two friends from work, Paul Con- nolly and Robin Ward. They chose to

run 19

miles as it was the distance he and his wife Jennifer travelled from their home to the hospital on ‘countless journeys’.

Mrs Richards said that when she went into labour at just 24 weeks it was ‘horrific’ and she ‘feared the worst.’ A complicated pregnancy meant that she was already in the hospital under obser- vation when the contractions came. Fifty-five

minutes 38 later

> Dad, Andy and Poppy and affection.

“When I went into labour, the paediatricians came round and warned us that they might not resuscitate and if she did survive she might have cerebral palsy, or other health conditions and

that she could be blind or deaf, but she doesn’t seem to have any ill effects. “She’s just perfect now, she has caught up well and her level of development is exactly where doctors would expect her to be.”

Poppy was born. Her skin was so delicate her parents were unable to hold her for two weeks. Poppy remained in the hospital’s neonatal unit for 100 days.

Mrs Richards said: “We just can’t thank the hospi- tal enough. It’s because of them that she is with us, they treated her with such care

Help with the bugs

The common cold is tighten- ing its grip on workplaces, as record numbers of us trudge into work even when genuinely ill. A recent survey found that half of workers hadn’t taken a single day off sick in 2011 because of a cold or flu, despite falling

ill on up to three occasions. Help is at hand, howev-

er, thanks to Fisherman’s Friend - maker of the na- tion’s strongest throat loz- enges - which has decided to take action. The com- pany, which commissioned the survey, is offering FREE


Families can take advantage of a new fun tobogganing session avail- able Saturdays at Telford Snow- board and Ski centre until end April. Families can hire a toboggan for £1 and take to the nursery slope, hire them from 9.30am until close every Saturday. No time restrictions apply, you can toboggan all day. For children between 5 and 10 years, they need gloves and clothes that cover arms and legs. Children must be supervised by parents at all time.

The Telford Snowboard and Ski Centre offers the ideal location to learn to ski or snowboard or just brush up your technique. Telford Snowboard and Ski Cen- tre is also home to the award- winning Telford Race Club which meets every week and offers chil- dren and young adults the oppor- tunity to ski in local, regional and national competitions. For more information call 01952 382688 or email madeleyskicentre@telford.

‘SOS Kits’ to offices in need, in a bid to blitz those bugs and keep workers protect- ed from anything that may stand in the way of a pro- ductive working day.

Containing hand sani-

tiser, desk wipes, hot water bottle and several packets of Fisherman’s Friend, the kits are a way to keep work- ers safe from any nasty illnesses spread by col- leagues refusing to stay at home!

If workers do fall ill, the strong menthol and eu- calyptus in a Fisherman’s Friend lozenge is perfect to help keep symptoms at bay, and with more menthol than many rivals, it really is the strongest there is!

If your office is suffering from a sickly spell and is in need of some help, sim- ply call the dedicated SOS telephone helpline on 020 7554 4496, clearly leaving your name and address, or email at officesos@rt-com. com. Fisherman’s Friend will despatch a free kit imme- diately, while stocks last, to help get your office back to working order.

Wrekin Raiders do well for Midlands

Wrekin Riders BMX club took 6 riders to enter the National Series BMX round 2 competition, exceeding the numbers taken by more established clubs. Wrekin are the only club represent- ed at the nationals without its own BMX track.

A packed stadium with an electric atmosphere in Manchester Indoor Arena saw Joshua Lynch and Tyler Stephenson (both in age 7 category) battle it out, again. Joshua unfortunately slipped a pedal and injured his foot in his 2nd race, but still pedalled through the pain to the B final, with an impressive 5th. Tyler fought his way through to the A final and finished in 6th place. Both

are improving with each race. Alex Mcdonald had some

impressive qualifying races, getting through to the quar- ter finals. Sadly a slow gate meant the leading pack blocked his progress, he was squeezed out of the semi final.

Newcomer to the Nation- als Callum Edwards (12 cat- egory) had tough competi- tion, but stormed through the pack to his first ever B final, finishing 6th.

Mark Maddox (17 - 24 category) was on fire, win- ning all of his qualifying races with some ease. But in the Semi Final he got caught in a melee of rid- ers and crashed trying to power out of the crowd. The injured Mark carried on and got into the B finals, finish- ing 4th.

Kieran Edwards had to withdraw from racing due to

injury. He said “Wrekin Rid- ers have had an awesome start to the National Series season and are going from strength

to strength with

Mark Maddox and Tyler Ste- phenson already through to the World BMX champion- ships in Birmingham in May. We will now be hoping that Joshua Lynch, Callum Ed- wards and Alex Mcdonald can also qualify.

BMX Coach Julie Judson said “Regional racing will start on 8th April with round 1 in Birmingham which will be the 1st leg of inter re- gional with North. Wrekin Riders BMX club have a lot of new younger riders who will start regional racing this season. They have all been working really hard in prac- tice sessions and they can’t wait for the season to start.”

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