An 87 year old former NHS employee has undertaken an extra special triathlon challenge with a
difference to raise funds for the hospital where she used to work.
Olive Stirling, from Northampton, worked in Northampton General Hospital in the 1980s as personal
assistant to the district nursing officer. She joined the NHS Retirement Fellowship after finishing work
and it was this which led her to her fundraising efforts.
Olive explained;I was at our monthly branch meeting and our fundraising officer was telling us how
the hospitals charity had been asked to raise about £15,000 to change a storage area on the
Brampton ward for elderly people into a quiet area for patients and their family and friends.
The Brampton ward was close to Olive's heart as her husband James had spent time on the unit prior
to his death in January last year. Olive added: I thought it was very worthwhile as I knew the ward
was busy and noisy and it would have been ideal for us.
Olive considered several adventures for her fundraising efforts including an abseil and a skydive but
unfortunately her own health meant she was unable to undertake these challenges – and spread them
out due to a bout of pneumonia in between challenges!
It was the charity office itself which suggested something similar to a triathlon where she would
undertake three different physical challenges as Olive wanted to do something active. She continued:
I thought I could do a mini triathlon spread out. I play badminton so I did an hour of badminton. I used
to cycle so I did two miles on a static bike and I went for a three mile walk.
“I asked everyone I knew to sponsor me. The Fellowship branch also did its own fundraising in
addition to my efforts.”
Olive was delighted to raise more than £2,000 towards the fundraising goal for the unit. She added: I
am really pleased and am happy to help the hospital out – anything that brings them the money and
the awareness of their needs is what I am interested in.
Rob Powell, from the Northampton charity, added: “Olive is a truly remarkable lady! Her drive and
energy in wanting to do something active to make a difference for elderly patients in Northampton are
so inspirational. Thanks to the incredible amount she raised by completing her triathlon with a
difference, Olive has helped us reach the fundraising target! This means work on the new room can
take place this year to enhance the environment for elderly patients at Northampton General.”