Wigan dad pushes hospital bed in new charity challenge

Fund-raiser Nigel Brookwell certainly got plenty of attention when he tackled the Wigan 10k in a four-stone vintage diving suit in 2017.

And he is sure to turn lots of heads with his latest challenge - pushing a hospital bed around the half marathon course at Run Wigan Festival.

Nigel Brookwell, right, with the bed he will push around the half marathon, donated by Paul King, managing director of Osprey Healthcare, left

Nigel Brookwell, right, with the bed he will push around the half marathon, donated by Paul King, managing director of Osprey Healthcare, left

The father-of-two hopes it will be a fruitful money-spinner in aid of FOR ME, a small charity supporting people with chronic fatigue syndrome, also known as ME.

His son Harry, now 16, was diagnosed with the condition after becoming ill in January 2016.

Nigel, who lives in Swinley, initially considered tackling the half marathon with a washing machine strapped to his back, but settled on pushing a bed instead.

He said: “One of the common denominators for everyone with ME is they’re in bed when they would rather not be. They end up being bed-bound for a period of time and it can be days or weeks.

“That resonated with me and I thought if I could push a bed, people would say ‘What is that idiot pushing a bed for?’ and I would explain.”

The bed has been provided by Standish-based Osprey Healthcare, with adaptations made for the challenge. For example, there are different wheels to make it suitable for the course, rather than the smooth floors of hospital wards.

Nigel has been training hard in the gym, but hills and obstacles on the route will make it even more difficult to push the bed, which weighs around 80kg.

He said: “There is absolutely no doubt that there will be situations where I need help to carry it over bollards and other obstacles. There will be a team of people walking with me to help.”

Nigel, 45, said he felt nervous but confident about the challenge and is considering everything he could face on the day.

He said “I’m mindful hydrating myself will be key because that bed will get heavier and heavier as each mile passes. It’s still 13 miles and some significant hills as well. One of my big enemies will be cramp. When I’m on the flat I think it will be okay, but it will be crucial to keep myself hydrated.”

Nigel has set a target of £1,000 but hopes to raise as much money and awareness as he can. Donations can be made at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/nigelbrookwell.