A former RAF Corporal and para-athlete is honouring Captain Tom Moore’s memory with his own challenge to raise funds for the NHS.
Darren Young from Kent will be attempt to cycle 1,257 miles - one mile for each of the 1,257 NHS hospital in the UK.
The veteran was medically discharged from the RAF after 16 years’ service with spinal and shoulder injuries. Despite 13 operations in 11 years, Darren has competed in major sports events, including the Invictus Games.
The 51-year-old who runs a fire safety company spent lockdown working as a Fire Safety officer in an NHS hospital.
Darren said: “Having been a front- line worker for 12 months at St George's Hospital during the pandemic I have seen first-hand what this virus has done to my work colleagues. It’s easy to get fatigued by charity asks for the NHS, but Captain Moore’s legacy shows that we must never give in, no matter what personal challenges we face.”
BBC sports presenter and Strictly Come Dancing star, Mike Bushell, kick-started the charity bike challenge on February 2 cycling alongside Darren on Instagram Live.
Darren is no stranger to setting himself big goals and pushing himself to the limit for causes close to his heart. He has been raising money for charities for over 34 years, completing over 22 charity events.
The veteran took part in the USA Warrior Games in 2017, the Invictus Games in Sydney in 2018, competing in the sitting volleyball, shot put and discus. He ran the London marathon in 2007 and the Barcelona marathon in 2011 for Mind. In 2019, he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro for Help for Heroes.
Darren said: “Keeping active helps with my long-term rehabilitation and mental well-being and like most people in the UK I really want to support our exhausted key workers. It is my way of saying, ‘thank you’. It’s also important for all our morale in this on-going pandemic to hold on to Captain Moore’s belief that ‘tomorrow will be a good day’. We can all make steps, or take on challenges no matter how small, to honour that sentiment.”
Darren will now cycle a total of 30 miles each day for the next 42 days in aid of NHS Charities Together. The veteran will be virtually joined by celebrity guests during his live streaming of the challenge via Instagram.
To donate go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/milesforhospitals
For media enquires email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0753 194 8014
Photo shows: Darren Young
Follow his challenge on Instagram @just_daz_young