A 13-year-old from Gainsborough who dreams of a future as a paramedic is donning his pedometer and trainers to raise crucial funds for The Ambulance Staff Charity (TASC).
In March, Lucas Artiss plans to top his 978,000+ steps from a challenge in March 2021 and reach a million (more than 32,000 steps a day!) to raise more than £1,000 for TASC’s cause.
By the end of March he will have walked 391 miles, akin to walking from his Gainsborough home to Inverness in Scotland.
The money will provide an extra 22 counselling sessions for ambulance staff members struggling with their mental health, or 16 hours of financial wellbeing support with TASC’s money advisor and you can donate money to Lucas’ JustGiving page here.
On taking on this new challenge, Lucas said: “Ambulance crews are still working so hard, and I have seen with my own eyes the toll it can take on them. We need to take care of them, so that they can take care of us. That’s why I want to raise even more for TASC this year.”
TASC, launched in 2015, is the national charity dedicated to bolstering the mental, physical and financial wellbeing of the UK’s ambulance staff, both serving and retired, their families, and ambulance service volunteers and paramedic science students.
Lucas received a certificate from the University of Lincoln for participating in a six hour paramedic science skills and scenario day, working with staff and second year students to practise core skills.
Lucas also regularly takes part in Hit The Ambulance, a game where players hit an ambulance with kindness by leaving the staff thank you notes and gifts. He is also the recipient of two community hero awards for his voluntary work where he spends 12 hours most weekends serving ambulance crews hot drinks and cake.
Julie Artiss, Lucas’ mum, said: “Lucas is amazing, not many kids his age would spend hours at a weekend handing out drinks to crews outside the hospital in winter, but he does it without fail. I am so proud of what he achieved last year, not only in his challenge but also at school. He is determined to try and raise more money to help ambulance staff across the country rather than just our local area.”
Karl Demian, TASC’s CEO, said: “Lucas is one of our youngest fundraisers ever and we’re so grateful that he’s once again doing this challenge to raise vital funds 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.
“With the support of people like Lucas, TASC can continue to be there for the UK’s lifesavers when they’re struggling and need a bit of help themselves.”