A team of determined Royal Mail postal workers has been named as this week’s charity champion after taking on a mammoth challenge for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, by dragging a two-tonne postal van behind them along the 8.5 mile Great Midlands Fun Run route last month.

This is the fourth year the group of 12 posties – from various Royal Mail depots across the region – has harnessed up and hauled the van around Sutton Coldfield and this year they raised over £2,000 for the charity, with matched funds from Royal Mail taking their total to over £4,000 and sponsorship money still coming in.  The team wanted to find a unique way to say thank you to Birmingham Children’s Hospital for the expert care and support it has provided many of the team’s own children.

Ross Bull, who is based at the Sutton Coldfield depot, chose to take part after his son Joshua spent most of the first year of his life there.  Joshua has DiGeorge Syndrome, a condition affecting the chromosomes, which has led to complex heart conditions and developmental issues.  After a number of procedures and on-going treatment at the hospital, six-year-old Joshua is stable at home and, despite his condition, is learning to stand and walk unaided. 

Ross said: “After basically living in the hospital with Joshua for a year and seeing the fantastic doctors and nurses at work I really just wanted to get involved and say thank you. We have a fantastic group of colleagues who are equally keen to do their part and this is the fourth year we’ve pulled the van for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity. It’s always tough, but it’s worth every gruelling step, especially when you hear and see people’s reactions as you go past.”

Another member of the heroic team is Steven Smith, whose five-year-old daughter Elizabeth is treated at the hospital for Hip Dysplasia, where the joints of the hips aren’t quite formed properly.   Since she was two-years-old Elizabeth has had numerous operations to help correct her condition, with her most recent procedure just six months ago.

Steven said: “I wanted to help raise money to help make life that little bit easier for the children being cared for at the hospital. Pulling the van was definitely hard work, but crossing the finish line just felt so good, and we beat last year’s time by 20 minutes! We’re so thankful to everyone who donated – four years on and the support for us is still as strong as ever.”

Serena Daw, Public Fundraising Manager at Birmingham Children’s Hospital said: “Our supporters are often inspired by their own experiences of our hospital, but pulling a two-tonne van behind them definitely goes beyond the call of duty!  We’re sure the Royal Mail team must have raised some eyebrows as they went past the crowds at the fun run, but we are truly thankful for their heroic efforts and dedication to raise such a fantastic amount of money. It will help us do more for the 90,000 sick kids we treat every year.”