October - December 2014


There was plenty going on at the Royal this Christmas!

There was the return of the Christmas Fayre which was bigger and better than last year. The Choir managed not one but TWO performances, including one in Relax@theRoyal to raise money for the new Chesterfield Royal MacMillan Cancer Centre.

There was a Christmas Tree Competition, a Christmas Jumper Competition, a quiz, Christmas Dinner served by the executive team, a performance of Christmas Carols from the St Peter and St Paul’s Choir as well as the Crispin Singers Choir.

Nightingale ward also had a visit from Chesterfield Football Club and of course Santa Claus on Christmas Eve ahead of his big night.

There has been plenty more going on within individual offices, wards, suites and departments so it just

remains to wish you all a very Happy New Year to everybody who works at the Royal, from everybody who works at the Royal.

Here’s to a great 2015!

Christmas Jumpers

The Christmas Fayre...

Christmas Carols


Almost a sixth of us made a pedometer the most important gadget in our possession for 100 days from the end of May as the Trust made the Global Corporate Challenge its own.

72 teams took up the challenge to take as many steps as possible and try and maintain 10,000 per day for each of the 100 days. It was all a bit of fun but healthy competition, personal pride and achievable goals resulted in a lot of reduced waistlines, significant achievements and returns to fitness.

No doubt there will be a ‘second leg’ next year with more teams taking on the challenge but, if you don’t know what all of the fuss was about, we found three willing volunteers who were more than happy to share their experience.

Sharon Over - Facilities Business Manager: “The Facilities Fillies”

I’d wanted to lose some weight before we started getting the emails about the GCC, I just didn’t know how – there was no focus.

As soon as we found out about it we put a team together, some of us took to it better than others; I found the app that you could download onto your phone to be a very easy way of keeping up with your steps, with lots of tips about how to improve.

I started to run in order to get my steps up but I didn’t like the idea of running outside or on the roads so bought myself a running machine. I started off walking, keeping it simple and then running, slowly going a little bit further each time or a bit faster. I set myself achievable goals and can now easily run 10k.

I worked out that a kilometre was roughly 1,000 steps so I used to get up in the morning, have a run on the machine and I could always tell the difference in myself when I’d been on. I had more energy, I was more awake and it would take me just over half an hour to do 5k so half of my daily goal was done before I’d even left the house. One of our team was a keen runner and she suggested I do a competitive run which I’m considering.

There were a number of mini-challenges you could do and I met all four. They were things like beating your personal best within a certain time period, making 100,000 steps in a certain time limit, things like that.

The biggest number of steps I managed was 36,000 during a night out in Leeds, it was the dancing, and the furthest I ran was 13k. In the 5 months from May I’ve lost two stone and it’s stayed off because I’m still running and still thinking about what I’m doing activity-wise. I’ll definitely do it again next year!

Richard Gratton - Nurse Specialist, Hospital Alcohol and Drug Liaison Team

I’m a keen runner and was really pleased to be asked to take part in the GCC.  One of the best things about taking part was in seeing how many steps I was doing on a particular day or journey. I have to say it also became a bit of an obsession – trying to beat your previous day or just setting yourself a goal.

Prior to joining in with the GCC I had already decided to enter an ultramarathon and knew that I would be training for this during the 100 days.

The ultramarathon I decided to enter (my first!) was the Ladybower 50; the total distance was 50.9 miles – three laps around the three dams in the Peak District (Ladybower, Howden and Derwent).  The race was to take place on 21st September, which was unfortunately after the GCC finished so my steps on the day wouldn’t count!

Preparation was tough; my usual running schedule was for around 20 to 30 miles each week but during training I gradually increased this to 60 over consecutive weeks to build up my endurance. I didn’t actually run 50 miles at any point up until the day of the ultramarathon; building up endurance and time spent running and then trusting my body (and mind!) to keep going on the day. My longest run in training was 35 miles, though I also ran 10 miles the following day.  

In hindsight, although the challenge was physically tough, having the right mental attitude was arguably more important.  There is definitely a psychological barrier to overcome when running long distances, especially when going further than marathon distance. So it was really important to me to run further than 26.2 miles a number of times in training (I did it 4 times).

On the day, the winner managed a phenomenal time of six hours 23 minutes, he broke the course record by an hour.  I enjoyed the race (is that the right word?!) finishing in a time of 7 hours and 55 minutes and in fourth place!  And although my steps didn’t count towards GCC, I wore my pedometer and recorded over 95,000 steps! My best day on the GCC was around 66,000 steps.
I also raised money for a UK-based charity called CHICKS who provide respite for carers of disadvantaged children – so far I have raised over £700.

Over the course of the GCC I managed just short of 3 million steps so if it had just carried on a little longer I’d have broken that landmark…never mind!  The whole experience was positive and it was great that so many staff took part.

I’ll definitely be doing the GCC again, it seems to have created a real buzz. I used to go to meetings where we’d walk instead of sit in a room and you saw so many others doing the same, just walking around the grounds to get their steps up. It’s a brilliant way to get people active, enthused and talking about exercise.

Robert Frear - Service Improvement Lead for Medical Directorate

I used to run quite a bit but stopped around seven years ago, largely due to having kids, but then just before the GCC started I joined the running club set up by Helen Shields.

I had a very serious accident some years ago when I was hit by a car whilst on my motorbike so I did a lot of running as part of my rehab so when I stopped I did start to put some weight on. I recently changed jobs from an outpatient setting to more of a desk job and this resulted in me becoming less active.

What the GCC has done has helped me to push myself a bit more. I did a lot of half marathons, not just to get my steps up but also to work towards one of my goals which was to run the Chesterfield Half Marathon.

With the running club I tend to do around 6k but every now and then we will push it a bit further and at the end of the GCC I found that I’d lost around three quarters of a stone but the best news is that it’s stayed off. I’ve carried on
the routine that I set for myself and feel much better for it.
There are a lot of extras with the GCC that are fascinating, for example you are given a heart age which I discovered, answering the questions as honestly as I could, was five years older than my actual age. My lifestyle score went from 420 out of a thousand to 679 which was fantastic. The app that you use as part of the GCC was a brilliant way of following your progress and encouraging you to do better.

Now I do much more, including more things with my kids such as long mountain bike rides, I’ve climbed to the top of Catbells in Keswick as well as walking around the lake there. I couldn’t do a lot of that before the GCC so I’m looking forward to doing it all again.