Gav Hitchman, Head of Nursing and Assistant Chief Nurse at Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre (BHOC), has been working with a team of colleagues to fundraise for our D603 Appeal.

The appeal is raising money to refurbish Ward D603 at BHOC, which hasn’t been updated since the 1970s.

Known as the D603 Dream Team, Gav and his colleagues Charlotte Nicol, Sophie Baugh, Hayley Long and Ben Trumper, have been joined by their partners for a host of fundraising activities - raising more than £16,000.

Their main fundraising event was the National Three Peaks Challenge, which they took on at the end of July.

The staff here at BHOC are incredible and provide a standard of care to patients that I have never seen before in my career to date. They provide continually compassionate and personalised care to patients on Ward D603, some of who may be in the last year of their life. We think both staff and patients here deserve to have a ward environment that matches the high standard of care delivered by the team day and night, 24/7.

We’ll all feel the positive effects of a lighter, brighter and more modern environment and the effect on the wellbeing of patients and staff should not be underestimated. It really will make such a difference to the lives of the people who have to spend time on the ward be that as a patient, visitor or staff member.

That’s why we decided to take on a huge challenge. We’d never even thought of attempting anything like the Three Peaks before, but we’re all so passionate about this cause and the refurbishment of the ward.

Every member of the team really went for it with their fundraising efforts – from several pub quizzes, multiple craft and cake sales as well as a gala ball that my husband Elliott played a big part in organising.

It’s really paid off and we’ve raised a fantastic amount for the appeal, which makes it all worth it.

The Three Peaks Challenge was harder than any of us could have imagined. We had really mixed weather. On the way up Ben Nevis we had blaring sun and midge bites galore, but it quickly changed to heavy rain and wind as we made our way closer to the top. Scafell Pike was eventful in the dark with head torches on and we eventually in the early hours of Sunday morning after being awake for 31 hours reached the peak of Snowdon, but we didn’t get much of a view that’s for sure! The wind and fog was like nothing I’d ever experienced, somewhat ultimate teambuilding for me and the team, not to mention our husbands!

Now we’re totalling up how much we’ve raised it’s all been worth it. It’s an incredible sum of money and we know it’ll make such a difference on Ward D603.

Please join us in getting behind the cause now.