Bristol Boy with Spina Bifida's 3 x 10 metre walks raise £30,000 for NHS
Frank Mills, a plucky six-year old boy with spina bifida from Victoria Park, Bristol is unexpectedly raising tens of thousands of pounds for NHS Charities Together by walking ten metres a day with the aid of a walker, on the pavement in front of his house.
His fundraising effort is inspired by Coronavirus hero, Captain Tom Moore. Frank, who only started walking - with the help of a frame - 18 months ago, is now chalking up ten metres a day, a personal marathon. Originally aiming to raise £99.00 in honour of Captain Tom’s age, Frank has raised an incredible £30,000 from nearly 2,500 people in just three days, completely smashing his original target, and as he keeps walking, the sum keeps rising.
Mum Janet says that four weeks into lockdown, the family came across Captain Tom’s daily fundraising walk – with his walking frame, and Frank just said, “I want to do that!”
“So”, Janet says, “We grabbed hold of that magic moment of motivation and we took his walker outside for him and chalked out ten metres on the pavement with a start and finish line and two metre ‘you can do it!’ markers. Frank’s enthusiasm was not just surprising but invigorating and as he shouted at one of our neighbours to sponsor him, we thought why not?”
“Maybe we could get some friends and family to support Frank. We quickly put something up on JustGiving and shared the link on Facebook, and from that moment it took off! We cannot believe how people are responding – so far £1,000 for every metre walked!”
As well as having spina bifida, Frank was born extremely prematurely, at just under 25 weeks and spent nearly five months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Southmead Hospital, then had incredible on-going care at Bristol Children’s Hospital and in the community.
Frank’s parents, Tony and Janet Mills, hail staff at both hospitals for their ‘absolutely amazing care and dedication’. ‘That’s my hospital’, Frank says, with great pride and affection, every time they drive past! The family say they have also benefited greatly from all the additional facilities and resources provided by the hospital’s Grand Appeal.”
Both parents want to echo Captain Tom’s deep appreciation of the NHS and express their enormous gratitude for what the NHS has done for their family and is doing for people with Coronavirus now by supporting NHS Charities Together.
Frank’s dad, Tony, says, “We have called this challenge Frank’s Finish Line Fundraiser! At a time of great national anxiety, Captain Tom has given us a really good news story when we desperately needed one, especially inspiring our little lad Frank.“
“Like a lot of people, we have responded to Tom because he’s simply done what he could and is supporting a great cause, so dear to our nation’s hearts at this crazy time. So many friends and neighbours have encouraged Frank, it’s been incredible! Folk have been so generous, especially at a time when people are struggling financially, and we would like to thank everyone who has supported Frank from the bottom of our hearts. It restores your faith in humanity.”
Concludes Janet, “When Frank was born I said that if we were American we’d be bankrupt, and if we were African we’d be dead! Thank God for the NHS! The NHS is like a gem in the Crown Jewels, an institution we are so proud of and thankful for. “
“The NHS was born out of a crisis and I really hope it will be reinvigorated after this one. I really hope we don’t return to business as usual when things resemble normality again. Boris may have won the mandate to get Brexit done at the last election, but because of the Coronavirus pandemic and the nation’s outpouring of love for the NHS, he now has a very clear mandate to save the NHS!”
To support Frank and NHS Charities Together please go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/franksfinishlinefundraiser
For further information please contact Janet Mills on 0778 9024827
, Captain Tom
, Coronavirus (COVID-19)
, Frank Mills
, Fund Raiser
, Just Giving