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A Virtual Row on the River Dee

Alex Wilson is completing a fundraising event for The Blue Skies Balcony Appeal, run by Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Charitable Funds.

The Blue Skies Balcony Appeal is a new appeal to build a garden balcony on our Intensive Care Unit (ICU) so that our poorly patients can benefit from the outdoors in a safe and infection-controlled environment.

All patients, their visitors and staff are set to benefit from this innovative improvement that will make it easier and safer to move patients outside with no loss of space to the existing unit which opened in 2014.

I wanted to help try to raise some funds for the blue skies appeal. Being a patient in a critical care area can cause you to lose track of time and day as well as where you are. Sleep deprivation and delirium is a recognised complication of patients being seriously unwell. ICU tries its best to reduce this risk as much as it can and being able to take patients into a garden so they can see some natural light or feel a breeze on their skin will bring psychological benefits and improve their mental well being.

My plan is to virtually row the River Dee from it’s origins in Snowdonia to Hillbre island in the Dee estuary (110miles / 176km).  An Olympic rowing race is 2km long so I’ve got the equivalent of 88 races to do.

The wonderful people at Total Fitness Chester are very kindly allowing me to use one of their rowing machines to do the challenge.

The target is to raise a tenner a mile.

And finally, a little bit about me::
I'm 38 and slightly overweight (more so since lockdown).
I don't exercise that often and admit I have an unhealthy obsession with chocolate (biscuits).
I don't hold any gym memberships nor do I pretend to be super-duper fit.
Apart from the odd hiit session, I've not really done any training.
This challenge is not gonna be easy!

More details here:


Many thanks,


Alex Wilson.

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