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Teacher goes above and beyond in year long fundraiser

A Colwyn Bay supply teacher has raised over £1,300 for charity by completing a year-long challenge that most people would shy away from.

Despite not ‘being able to jog for five minutes’ Veronica Patrick took part in her own ‘Tryathlon’, which saw her aim to complete 590km in a year by running 200km, walking 350km and swimming 40km!

The name ‘Tryathlon’ came from the fact that Veronica would have to ‘try’ very hard all year in order to succeed in her challenge.

The determined mother-of-three grown-up children smashed that target by completing 704.28km in 2023 for the Wales Air Ambulance.

Veronica is a member of Choirs for Good, in Conwy, which had chosen the Wales Air Ambulance as its Charity of the Year for 2023. She said: “We did a number of fundraising events for Wales Air Ambulance as a choir, but I wanted to carry out my own individual challenge too. My friends were pretty surprised when I announced that I was going to do a sporting challenge in aid of Wales Air Ambulance: I’m not known for being particularly sporty!”

Veronica’s son suggested she do the ‘Couch to 5k’ running challenge and accompanied her on her first run, and after completing the 9 week programme, she was determined to go a lot further despite the fact she doesn’t enjoy running.

“The hardest part for me was the jogging, because it was the least enjoyable, although jogging in the rain didn’t bother me.” said Veronica.

Reflecting on what motivated her to continue the challenge for 12 months, Veronica added: “Committing to the distances at the beginning of the year really motivated me, I knew I had to do it because I said I would. Each month, I would publicise how far I had achieved on my fundraising page and it was a really helpful way to keep track.

‘I had donations not only from people in my choir, but from friends from university and school too! It has felt great doing it and raising the £1300’. 

Veronica said it was lovely getting the support from her husband and children, and that they were quite surprised and impressed that she completed the ‘Tryathlon’. She had massive support throughout the year from her biggest ‘cheerleader’, her friend Stella, which she’s extremely grateful for.

Wales Air Ambulance is consultant-led, taking hospital-standard treatments to the patient and, if required, transferring them directly to the most appropriate hospital for their illness or injury. For the patient, this can mean hours saved when compared to standard care and is proven to greatly improve survival and early recovery. 

The Charity relies on public donations to raise the £11.2 million required every year to keep the helicopters in the air and rapid response vehicles on the road.

Alwyn Jones, Wales Air Ambulance’s Community Fundraiser, said: “As well as taking part in the Choirs for Good fundraising activites for our lifesaving Charity, Veronica set herself a huge year-long individual challenge. We are extremely grateful to Veronica for supporting the Wales Air Ambulance throughout 2023 and raising an incredible £1,365. 

“Most people would shy away from a challenge so hard, especially someone who hasn’t done something like this before. However, Veronica took on the challenge and smashed her original target. She’s rightly proud of her achievements. A huge thank you to Veronica’s family and friends who supported her throughout the year. 

“The Wales Air Ambulance needs to raise £11.2 million each year to continue its lifesaving service, the fundraising of Veronica and the choir will help us to save even more lives throughout Wales.”

There is still time to show your support to Veronica by donating to her fundraiser via the Just Giving page www.justgiving.com/fundraising/veronica-tryathlon

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