NHS Lothian staff and patients at the Robert Fergusson Unit (RFU) have walked four million steps in under a month to raise money for Ukraine. 

Four million steps is the distance on foot between the RFU and Kyiv. A step challenge, rather than a distance challenge, ensured patients with limited mobility could also take part. The RFU, based at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, is a national NHS neurorehabilitation service for patients with acquired brain injury and associated behavioural disturbance.

Helen O’Leary, Occupational Therapist at the RFU, said: “Our staff and patients really wanted to do their bit to help the humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. 

“Though some of our patients have a reduced ability to interact with the world, they are still aware of what goes on globally and are incredibly generous and kind.

“It’s so wonderful to see patients who wouldn’t otherwise be so active get up and walk around, and for such a good cause.”

The team raised £2,358 in donations and £446 in Gift Aid, which will go to the British Red Cross to help provide aid to the people of Ukraine.

The team’s efforts have also resulted in improved long-term activity among both patients and staff. 

This is key to relieving stress and managing neurological conditions and some patients are continuing to count their steps even after they have reached their goal.