A month-long skipathon, organised by a Morden woman, has raised £11,000 for the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

Suzanne Richardson, 50, challenged her colleagues at BT Enterprise to complete a total of 1 million skips during January to raise funds for charity.

Three hundred people - including BT staff, members of their family and BT business partners – took part, completing a total of 1,166,037 skips.

"The idea for a skipathon came to me as I like to skip myself to keep fit," Suzanne said.

"Every year we take on a fundraising challenge to give something back.

“It also seemed like the perfect activity with the current lockdown restrictions.

“January can be a very long and dark month at the best of times. So, it was a good opportunity to get people working towards a positive goal and getting them physically active at the same time.”

Wimbledon Times: Credit: British Heart FoundationCredit: British Heart Foundation

Participants used a skipping app or a smart watch to verify the number of skips they completed.

Daily updates showing who the top jumpers were soon started some fierce competition between colleagues.

“There was a real battle between some of the jumpers as to who could get the top spot with the most daily skips," she said.

"It also brought out people’s fun side as well.

"People started sending videos round of themselves skipping blindfolded, or backwards and blindfolded, and there was a series of videos of people skipping in crazy outfits.

"The sense of fun and silliness really helped to keep the momentum going.”

Suzanne, who completed 44,000 skips over the month, suggested BHF as the recipient of the skipathon as her father, John McCormack, died from a heart condition in 2008 at the age of 63.

“So many families are impacted by heart and circulatory conditions," she added.

That’s why this cause really resonated with everyone in the team and why so many people made such an effort to help raise funds.”


Wimbledon Times:

Heart and circulatory diseases cause more than 160,000 deaths in the UK each year, said British Heart Foundation.

The BHF funds research into all heart and circulatory diseases, including congenital heart disease, stroke, vascular dementia and its risk factors, including high blood pressure and diabetes.

However, due to the impact of the coronavirus crisis, the charity’s research investment could halve this year.

Karl Coppack, Fundraising Manager for the BHF, said: “This is an absolutely amazing effort by Suzanne and all of her colleagues.

"We’re incredibly grateful to them for signing up to this challenge and raising so much money.

“The devastating impact of the pandemic means that the BHF’s investment in new research could fall by around £50 million this year.

"This research is entirely fuelled by the generous donations of the public, and that’s why we need their support now, more than ever.”

Donations reached £11,633 at the time of publishing.

To donate visit Million jumps skipathon here.