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Chailey team rises to 3.4 Challenge

Date: 06 April 2021

An NHS team has walked or run 3.4km every day for two weeks to raise more than £400 for a charity that helps people with communication disabilities. 

Chailey Communication Aid Service, part of Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, the largest provider of NHS community services in Sussex, took the 3.4 Challenge in aid of Communication Matters. 

The charity, which supports adults and children with little or no clear speech, organised the fundraiser after experiencing financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Chailey team, one of 15 specialist NHS augmentative and alternative communication services in the country, serving patients from Sussex and Surrey, was well placed to help. 

It not only assesses and provides communication aids to the same patient group as that served by Communication Matters, it also attends the charity’s annual conference to share and gain vital knowledge. 

As a result, the Chailey team, made up of healthcare scientists, speech and language therapists, therapy assistants, an occupational therapist and an administrator, strained every sinew to help. 

So far, its members’ efforts have raised £430, exceeding their original £50 target by a colossal 860% and drawing the charity’s appreciation. 

Chailey team manager Hannah Griffiths (pictured) said: “We’ve all enjoyed taking it in turns to walk or run 3.4km a day in our beautiful countryside for a cause which is very close to our hearts and those of the adults and children it helps. 

“We’re keen to raise as much as we can for it and want to say a massive ‘thank you’ to the many people who have so kindly sponsored us. We really appreciate their generous support.” 

Named after Communication Matters’ axed 2020 conference, which would have been its 34th, the 3.4 Challenge ran from 21 March until Saturday, 3 April (the third of the fourth). 

It was inspired by UK charity fundraiser The 2.6 Challenge, held on 26 April last year following the cancellation of the London Marathon, which had been due to take place on the same day. 

You can still sponsor the team, and find out more about the 3.4 Challenge, on its JustGiving page.