Navy officers raise thousands for sick kids using nothing but their wits

The team, (l-r) Kieran Woodward, Chris Orkney, Jamie Marples and Steve Groves, got to meet families at Scott House when they arrived. Pictured with Andrew McIntyre and his son Leo.
The team, (l-r) Kieran Woodward, Chris Orkney, Jamie Marples and Steve Groves, got to meet families at Scott House when they arrived. Pictured with Andrew McIntyre and his son Leo.
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A dedicated team of Navy officers raised more than £7,500 through an 800-mile journey for sick kids.

The team, which included Peterlee’s Steve Groves, made their way from Plymouth to Newcastle using nothing but their wits to raise the money for The Sick Children’s Trust and the Children’s Heart Unit Fund in Newcastle.

The fund-raisers (l-r) Steve Groves, Chris Orkney, Jamie Marples and Kieran Woodward, outside the Sick Children's Rainbow House in London.

The fund-raisers (l-r) Steve Groves, Chris Orkney, Jamie Marples and Kieran Woodward, outside the Sick Children's Rainbow House in London.

The four, all officers on board Britain’s biggest warship, HMS Ocean, set off with nothing but the clothes on their backs, one mobile phone and their Navy ID card.

During the By Any Means challenge, they also had to complete several tasks, such as making their way to Land’s End, singing a hymn in Manchester Cathedral and getting on top of Meadowhall Shopping Centre’s roof in Sheffield.

The Navy officers, including 37-year-old Steve, a former Shotton Hall School pupil, who is married with two children, took on the challenge as a thank you to the charity which supported one of the team, Petty Officer Chris Orkney and his wife, Nicola, when their three-year-old son, Declan, needed life-saving heart surgery at the Freeman Hospital.

The Sick Childen’s Trust provides accomodation next to hospitals so families can stay with the youngsters undergoing treatment.

We’ve had such an amazing trip from Plymouth to Newcastle

Chris Orkney

Chris said: “Being told that the only way to save Declan’s life was for him to have major open heart surgery was horrendous, but immediately we felt supported by The Sick Children’s Trust and CHUF.”

The team initially set themselves a target of £3,000, but have already reached more than £7,500 with a lot more money to come in.

When they arrived at Scott House, next to the RVI, there was a surprise party waiting for them.

Chris said: “We’ve had such an amazing trip from Plymouth to Newcastle raising money for The Sick Children’s Trust and CHUF.

The team  (l-r) Steve Groves, Chris Orkney, Jamie Marples and Kieran WoodWard, at Great Ormand Street Hospital for Children.

The team (l-r) Steve Groves, Chris Orkney, Jamie Marples and Kieran WoodWard, at Great Ormand Street Hospital for Children.

“We have been without money, transport and food and have only been able to make it all this way thanks to the wonderful people who have helped and shown so much support, for which we are truly grateful.

“We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved - with this money raised we have been able to help both charities make a huge difference to many more families going through the most traumatic times.”

The team (l-r) Kieran Woodward, Chris Orkney, Steve Groves and Jamie Marples, at Durham Cathedral.

The team (l-r) Kieran Woodward, Chris Orkney, Steve Groves and Jamie Marples, at Durham Cathedral.