RESIDENTS, families, sports teams, community organisations and businesses across Bromsgrove, Rubery, South Birmingham and Droitwich are being urged to show off their ‘Superhero’ side and undertake a press-up challenge to help fund a new unit at Birmingham Children’s Hospital (BCH).
The ‘Superhero Challenge’ is the brainchild of Lenny Scarlett who found out about the fund-raising campaign for the Star Appeal from staff at the hospital.
The unit will be the first centre in the UK for children with rare diseases and has the potential to improve the lives of thousands of children and families.
Every year BCH treats more than 9,000 children living with 500 rare or undiagnosed conditions. The youngsters face huge challenges and obstacles and are often overwhelmed by the isolation.
The new unit will provide a single place within the hospital for all assessment, diagnosis, treatment, information, research and also valuable peer-to-peer support.
It will cost £3.65million and so far £1,036,744 has been pledged.
The fund-raising gauntlet laid down by Lenny is for people or groups to film themselves doing as many press-ups as they can in just 30 seconds and then, as happened with the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ to donate whatever they can to the cause and nominate another person or group to next take the challenge.
As well as seeing how many press-ups they can do in the allotted time, people have also been challenged to find the most weird and wonderful places to film their 30-second task. Already some have done them in the street, on beaches and even on stepping stones over a stream – the quirkier the better.
Lenny, who is hoping the drive will raise more than £100,000 towards the cost of the project, said with people’s summer holidays upon them, he was sure they would be able to find some more weird and wonderful places to ‘drop’ and do the press-ups. So far more than £25,000 has been raised from Lenny’s campaign.
“We have been overwhelmed so far by the way people have got behind the Superhero Challenge and we are hoping Bromsgrove, Rubery and South Birmingham will do so too.
“It’s an appropriate name for this challenge as the real superheroes are the staff at Birmingham Children’s Hospital who look after these youngsters,” he added.
As well as the individual press-up sessions, the campaign is also building up to another Superhero Challenge – a World Record attempt which sees Lenny and five other Birmingham athletes trying to undertake ‘The Longest Workout Ever’.
On September 18 at Chainworks gym near the Second City’s Jewellery Quarter, Lenny (Optimus Prime), Jim Fixter (The Hulk), Albert Foresythe (Ironman), Daniel Joseph (Batman), Dougy Reid (Superman) and Carlos Campbell (Wolverine) will vy, in teams of three, to complete a brutal non-stop 26-hour workout. The current World Record is 25 hours.
The challenge is being backed by members of Bromsgrove-based Gymshark.
Miranda Williams, the BCH’s public fund-raising manager, thanked Lenny and his supporters for taking on the Superhero challenge, adding for them to raise so much in such a short space of time was fabulous.
“The final donation will be a real boost to our charity’s Star Appeal to create the UK’s first Rare Diseases Centre for children.”
To donate to the Superhero Challenge, after completing the 30 seconds of press ups and nominating the next person or group, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/thesuperherochallenge or text BSHC99 £5 (or other chosen amount) to 70070.
To follow the campaign on Twitter it is @sh_challengeuk or search for ‘The Superhero Challenge’ on Facebook.