A burpee challenge like no other!

“Completing the challenge was always going to be an amazing achievement but to exceed it in the way we did is something we can all be very proud of.”

Anth Clifford, Physical Education Instructor (PEI) at HMP Durham, is brimming with pride as he tells us about the recent fundraising achievements of 14 prisoners, and four staff.

Back in May, this group of men volunteered themselves to take on the challenge of completing 15,000 burpees to raise money in support of St Oswald’s Hospice, and they smashed it!

In between their morning workshops and work routines, it took the men a little under 3 hours to complete their burpees.

Anth said:

“It was amazing to see and hear the men coming together, supporting and encouraging one another to keep going, to push through and to succeed in this challenge.”

The physical and emotional demands of this challenge did not hinder the men. Shouts of encouragement and rounds of applause rang out from the surrounding cells, motivating the group to keep on going knowing they had the full support of their fellow inmates.

“Before we knew it, the 15,000 mark had been surpassed and we were well on our way to completing a grand total of 18,000 burpees,” Anth explained.

“It was a very surreal experience in itself, with so much positivity and support coming from all corners. It was inspiring to see and knowing that our fundraising will make a difference to St Oswald’s Hospice is brilliant.”

On learning of the challenge, Steph Edusei, Chief Executive of St Oswald’s Hospice sent a thank you to the fundraisers and said:

“When I read about how much it meant to each of you to be able to do something to help others, and to help the patients and families here, that really meant a huge amount to me. So, I wanted to say a personal thank you to you all.”

During a recent visit to HMP Durham to thank and congratulate the men for their fundraising efforts, it was clear to see the positive impact this challenge has had on those who took part, with one participant commenting:

“To be part of this challenge was one of the best and most memorable times I’ve had whilst in prison.”

Jane Hogan, Head of Fundraising at St Oswald’s Hospice, added:

“To meet some of the men and to understand some of what it meant to them to give their time, and their own money, in support of the Hospice was inspiring. Their enthusiasm and sense of achievement was great to see.”

In total, this brilliant burpee challenge has so far raised £2,192.34 which will go toward supporting patients in our care and their families, too.

“On the day, the buzz around the prison was like no other,” commented Anth. “I can’t help but repeat myself when I say how proud I am of each and every person who took part in this burpee challenge.”

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