A 12-year-old boy from Gainsborough who dreams of one day becoming a paramedic walked nearly 979,000 steps to raise over £1,500 for The Ambulance Staff Charity (TASC).
Ambulance loving Lucas Artiss beat his target of 930,000 steps by almost 50,000 with a final total of 978,824, which is the equivalent of walking from his Lincolnshire home to Portsmouth and back again.
Lucas walked at least 30,000 steps every day of March to help raise vital funds for TASC, which is a national charity dedicated to supporting the UK’s ambulance community.
The charity gives mental, physical and financial wellbeing support to current and retired ambulance staff, as well as their family members. The charity also supports Paramedic Science students from year two onwards and current ambulance service volunteers such as Community First Responders (CFRs).
Lucas received support from a range of Gainsborough locals throughout March. This included staff from Gainsborough Ambulance Station, who joined Lucas on a 15,000-step walk.
He raised a total of £1,515 for TASC, which could help the charity to provide an extra 25 hours of mental health support or 29 sessions of physiotherapy for ambulance staff injured in the line of duty. There is still time to donate to Lucas’ fundraiser here.
Lucas said: “It’s been a tough challenge and there are days when I’m so tired but then I think of all the money raised so far and how much of a difference it will make to the ambulance staff who need help and I know every step is worth it.
“If we let our ambulance staff fall then who is going to be there to pick us up if we fall? We must look after our heroes!”
His proud mum, Julie Artiss, said: “Lucas has been outstanding; he has never once failed to reach his target and he just got on with doing his steps without me having to push him.
“All the time throughout his challenge he has been completing all his school work and homework too. I really cannot praise him enough for his dedication and effort.”
Jasmin, TASC’s Director of Income Generation and Supporter Engagement, said: “We are so proud of Lucas for completing his exhausting challenge, but the effort has been truly worth it as he managed to smash not one, but two of his fundraising targets to raise over £1,500 for TASC!
“Ambulance staff have one of the most stressful jobs in the UK, and the continuing and long-term impacts of Coronavirus are making their job that much harder. At TASC we’re passionate about supporting the mental, physical and financial wellbeing of the UK’s lifesavers, but we can only do this with the help of kind-hearted and generous people like Lucas. We are so grateful to Lucas for his support.”
Mrs Leung, Principal of Lucas’ school Gainsborough Academy, said: “We are extremely proud of Lucas and his wonderful efforts to raise money for such an excellent cause. He is really embodying our Academy Gainsborough Way.”