A part-time worker for Nottinghamshire Deaf Society (NDS) has started a fundraiser to fix the lift that allows the charity to run services and activities in its building.
The repair bill is estimated at about £15,000 due to the main control system being over 20 years old and some of the pieces being no longer available.
Nicola Ramsdale, 40, who has been the community services officer for NDS for five years, and with her husband Andy Ramsdale, 45, the store manager at Leisure Lakes Bikes Nottingham, created a fundraiser as part of Captain Tom 100 challenge.
Set up in memory of Sir Captain Tom Moore, who raised £38m for the NHS by walking 100 laps around his garden, the challenge urged people to do a 100 things (100 push-ups, 100 cups of tea and so on) between Friday, 30 April, and Monday, 3 May, to raise money for good causes.
On Bank Holiday Monday, Andy’s goal for the fundraising was to do a 100-mile bike commute before and after work – splitting the day 50/50 or 60/40.
However, the weather forecast did not cooperate with the plan and it turned into an 88-mile route to work – from Mapperley to Breaston, taking in Southwell, Bilsthorpe, Rufford, Clipstone, Newstead and Shipley – followed by a 22-mile commute back home, which made a total of 110 miles.
Andy said: “I ride my bike a fair bit, but once you hit 100+ the day changes.
“Even with the rain and strong winds on the return home, I did keep smiling, knowing that I’d hit the target.”
“EVEN WITH THE RAIN AND STRONG WINDS ON THE RETURN HOME, I DID KEEP SMILING, KNOWING THAT I’D HIT THE TARGET.”
ANDY RAMSDALE, 45
The initial target for the fundraise was £500 but so far the couple managed to raise over 200% of their original goal, having taken their total so far to more than £1,000.
The Nottinghamshire Deaf Society building has four levels and the over-50s group has several members with limited mobility who need to use the lift to access activities and services, along with staff, frequent guests and visitors.
With the end of national restrictions on June 21, NDS plans to reopen its full services of social groups and activities as soon as possible and with a working lift.
Nicola said: “We have had some Covid relief funding during the pandemic from local and central government but we have not (so far) had any support for the cost of the lift repairs.”
To promote Deaf Awareness Week 2021 (3-9 May), NDS will be posting all week on their Facebook page, including posts about ‘real-life’ experiences of deafness from their students. Lip-reading courses and British Sign Language taster sessions will also be promoted.
Nicola said: “We would encourage as many people as possible to share our posts, to improve awareness of issues affecting deaf people. With some simple adjustments, we really can make society more accessible for all.”
“My biggest fear was not getting a big response and doing the Tom 100, with little sponsorship, but people have been amazing.
Inspired and ready to inspire others to challenge themselves for such good causes, Andy said: “I can’t believe how much has been raised and all the well wishes and praise along the way. That really does snowball and give you that extra to complete whatever challenge you’ve set yourself.”
Captain Tom 100 was set up by Captain Sir Thomas Moore’s family, to honour the achievements of the British Army officer who raised money for charity during the COVID-19 pandemic in the run-up to his 100th birthday.
He passed away in February and would’ve been 101 years on April 30.