North West Inter Hospital Golden
Group photo at end of the Challenge - left to right (starting
> with back row) - Catrin Hawthorne, Ken Levin, Ian Stallard, an army host,
> Sandra Cosgrove, Helen Whitekey, David Bramhall (front row) - Louise
> Harrison, four field hospital officers and Tracy Thomas.
Southport & Formby DGH staff take up the North West Inter Hospital Golden
Southport & Formby District General Hospital staff took up the North West
Inter Hospital Golden Jubilee Challenge and came 4th out of 20 teams.
The eight-strong team consisted of David Bramhall (biomedical scientist)
and spinal unit staff Sandra Cosgrove (practice development nurse), Cat
Hawthorne (physiotherapist), Louise Harrison (medical secretary), Ken
Levins (occupational therapy), Ian Stallard (clinical technologist), Tracy Thomas
(receptionist) and Helen Whitely (physiotherapist).
After being whisked away in torrential rain to the Queen Elizabeth's
Barracks, Strensall (near York) the fun began. The weather didn't dampen
spirits and following a quick briefing session, and issuing of enormous
rucksacks containing all manner of heavy objects, 5.30am saw the team in a
muddy field cooking breakfast.
The Challenge, which is organised by 207 (Manchester) and 208 (Liverpool)
Field Hospitals of the Territorial Army Medical Services, started at 8am
on both days. It consisted of 10 separate challenges, all designed to give
health care workers an insight into army life.
Colonel John Wignall, commanding officer of 208 Field Hospital, said:
"The Hospital Challenge gives us the opportunity to show medical staff and
their employers what the TA can offer their employers, and how it can benefit
them in the workplace when working together under stress and limited
The weekend's tasks varied in mental and physical complexity and included:
· Moving the team and various objects across a stream without treading on
mock mines or touching the ground
· Tackling an assault course, including fording ditches and climbing a 20
· Target shooting
· Camouflaging and observation tests
Ian Stallard, team member, said: "Although some parts of the Challenge
were gruelling and tested us to the limits, we had a great time working as a
team. One of my most memorable moments was when Cat didn't have her
glasses with her for the target shooting. Not wanting to let us down, she borrowed
Sandra's specs and ended up getting the best female score of the
The team did incredibly well for their first attempt at the event, and
later found out that seven points separated them from the leaders. Who knows
what next year will bring.
Ian Stallard clings on for life as he crosses a stream