A KIND-HEARTED fundraiser will take a much-deserved break after running, climbing, cycling and swimming to raise funds for a Coventry neonatal research charity.
Helen Southgate, from London, completed five endurance challenges to collectively raise more than £1,000 for the Grace Research Fund.
In just nine months, the 34-year-old took part in a 100 mile bike ride, triathlon, duathlon, 10 kilometre run and reached the summit of the highest mountain in North Africa, Mount Toubkal.
Helen enters numerous fitness challenges each year in aid of charity, but it was a friend in Coventry who inspired her to make the Grace Research Fund her nominated cause for 2015.
She added: “And when I explained their work to my sponsors they all agreed and were delighted to back a cause that does so much not just in terms of research into why babies are born prematurely, but also in terms of supporting babies’ families.”
Of all the challenges tackled, Helen revealed that it was the triathlon which proved the toughest.
She added: “I learnt about the amazing work of the Grace Research Fund after a friend had been supported by them over the past year.
“After supporting national charities in the past it seemed more worthwhile and beneficial to fundraise for a local cause this year.
“Swimming across the Thames during the triathlon on a hot August day with 13,000 other participants was really tough – but all worth it for a great cause.
“Needless to say I’m now making the most of relaxing and eating whatever I want, although I’ve already signed up for two bike rides next year.”
The charity, which funds research into premature births and the best forms of neonatal care at the University Hospital and the University of Warwick, admired Helen’s dedication and efforts.
Dr Andy Coe consultant paediatrician at University Hospital, said: “I greatly admire Helen’s dedication – completing five endurance challenges in less than a year is an impressive feat by anyone’s standards.
“The Grace Research Fund relies on donations such as the £1,021 raised by Helen and on behalf of the charity I’d like to thank her for her enormous fundraising efforts.
“The money will go a long way in helping us to continue the great work we do in supporting babies and families in Coventry and Warwickshire.”