A team of 18 eager employees from a Black Country-based solicitors firm has gone the distance for Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity, after walking/running 812 miles between them and raising £900 for the charity’s Woodland House Appeal.

The colleagues from George Green LLP challenged themselves to cover the equivalent distance between Lands’ End and John O’Groats to reignite team spirit after a year of home working and to raise funds for the firm’s designated charity of the year.

The Woodland House Appeal will bring a new, standalone bereavement centre to Birmingham Women’s Hospital, which is one of only two dedicated women’s hospitals in the UK. Woodland House will create a safe haven for parents and families who experience pregnancy and baby loss, away from the hustle and bustle of the main site, where they can spend time together in comfort and privacy before they are ready to face the world.

Without hesitation, the team at George Green LLP got behind the appeal, with trainee solicitor Matthew Martin rallying the troops with what became weekly motivational emails to track the team’s progress. Leading by example was CEO, David Stevenson, who also took part in the challenge.

The appeal meant even more to administration officer, Annie Tanner, who nominated the charity after her friend Sami, sadly lost her baby girl, Pip Amabel Cartwright, just six hours after she was born at the hospital back in November 2019.

Sami’s devastating loss inspired Annie and in turn gave her colleagues the motivation they needed to complete their challenge. Over 31 days the team walked and ran, logging their miles on fitness app, Strava, until they had reached the distance.

Sami said: “There are no words that could ever truly describe the feeling when you’re told there’s nothing doctors can do to save your baby. Slowly but surely, the bereavement team at Birmingham Women’s Hospital helped me to feel like a person again but going back to the hospital where I lost my daughter, where my life shattered into a million pieces, was agony. Woodland House will make such a difference to families like mine, providing them a safe, supportive environment to get the support they so desperately need and deserve.”

Annie said: “Losing Pip was devastating for my friend Sami but she herself has been so inspired by the midwives at Birmingham Women’s Hospital who cared for her. She’s so passionate about the Woodland House Appeal and what it will mean for other families who lose a baby.

“As a company we’re so proud to have been able to contribute to such a worthy cause and one that will make such a huge difference in our community. Not only was the challenge fun but it was a great team-building exercise and a good motivator too!”

Miranda Williams, Head of Public Fundraising at Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity, said: “With just £1million left to raise, Woodland House is in reach of becoming a reality for the 2,000 women and families who experience pregnancy and baby loss at our hospital every year.

“We’re so grateful to all of the team at George Green LLP for their outstanding commitment and determination that has brought us another step closer to setting a new standard of care for bereaved families across the UK.”