Berwick youngster Tyler Winson has raised over £500 for a hospital that provided vital help and support for his uncle – and he’s not stopping there.
The 10-year-old Berwick Middle School pupil recently presented a cheque for £200 to staff at the Walkergate Park Hospital, where his uncle Peter received rehabilitation and physiotherapy after suffering a stroke.
Tyler raised the money through sponsorship when he ran the 1.2-mile Berwick Curfew run this summer, having raised £380 for Walkergate Park by completing the walls circuit the previous year.
And already his thoughts are turning to his next challenge.
“I’m hoping to do the junior great north run next year to raise some more money,” Tyler told the Advertiser.
“I’ve started doing some training for it. My mum goes running and I sometimes go with her. We do a long run on a Friday night - last time we did four-and-a-half miles. My legs were sore but I kept going.”
It’s the thought of giving something back to the Walkergate Park Hospital - a specialist centre that works with people with a disability caused by injury affecting the brain, spinal cord or muscles - that keeps Tyler going.
“I wanted to raise some money for them because my uncle was there, and because not many people really fundraise for them,” Tyler said. “I wanted to do something for uncle Peter.”
Peter, who lives in Spittal, had just returned from a holiday when he suffered a stroke at Newcastle Airport in 2010.
One side of his body was badly effected, but the staff at Walkergate Park worked with him to improve his balance and coordination.
The centre is one of the most advanced of its kind in Europe. Its team of professionals have extensive experience and expertise in managing physical disabilities, neurobehavioural and neuropsychological problems.
They use alternative as well as conventional methods, and aim to maximise patients’ potential for independence.
“They helped Peter to be able to make a breakfast,” explained Tyler’s mum, Kirsty. “It sounds like a silly thing, but they run a bed and breakfast, so to be able to do that was really important to Peter.”
Peter was among the family and friends that turned out to cheer Tyler on when he ran the curfew run in July. The challenge is to run the 1.2 mile circuit of Berwick’s walls - up and down hills - in less than 13 minutes.
“It’s fantastic that Peter was able to go up on the walls and watch Tyler run, because there was a time when we didn’t think that would happen - it’s really quite emotional,” Kirsty said.
When Tyler presented a cheque for £200 to Elaine Fletcher, service manager for Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust; they were joined by his family and staff from the service.
“When he went into the room to present the cheque there were a lot of people there, so he was a bit overwhelmed!” Kirsty said. “Everyone at the hospital is so grateful for what Ty’s raised,” she added.
“As a family we’re all very proud of Tyler, particularly because it was all his idea, it was him that decided he wanted to do something.”