Forces Charities

British Army officer steps up to raise money for NHS heroes

A British Army physiotherapist has spoken of how she carried out ‘step-up’ exercises for 24 hours non-stop to raise money for NHS health workers who are battling the coronavirus pandemic.

Captain Preet Chandi, a former British Army tennis number one who serves with 3 Medical Regiment based in Preston, said she carried out her Stepping Up For The NHS challenge because she has “always been inspired by the work they do.” 

Captain Preet Chandi Op TRENTON 5 British Army Officer 24 Step Up Challenge BFBS Radio Interview Richard Wyeth Credit Image
Captain Preet Chandi on Op TRENTON 5

Preet is known for carrying out extreme physical challenges including ultra-marathon running, Nordic skiing, and other acts as an endurance athlete.

She had been planning to drag a tyre around the course of the London Marathon at the end of April as a fundraising effort but those plans were postponed after the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus.

The Army Officer decided to think up another way of raising money with an endurance challenge that she could carry out indoors in isolation during the lockdown.

Captain Preet Chandi British Army Officer 24 Step Up Challenge BFBS Radio Interview Richard Wyeth Credit Image

She instead tasked herself with completing 24 hours of ‘step-ups' – an exercise involving stepping up and down on a step, box or low bench - to raise money for NHS Charities Together, which champions official NHS charity projects.  

Speaking to BFBS Radio about whether or not there were any moments she thought she couldn’t take it anymore, she said: 

“I quite enjoy my endurance challenges anyway. 

“I think I always know I’m going to get there regardless of how difficult it is. 

“I had a few phone calls in the early hours, at 2am which made that hour go a lot quicker too.” 

Captain Preet Chandi British Army Officer 24 Step Up Challenge BFBS Radio Interview Richard Wyeth Credit Image

Preet encouraged others to get involved so other people could do something positive while in lockdown isolation.

Dozens of people joined in by donating via her JustGiving page and sending videos of themselves or their children doing step-ups.

Preet raised her target of £500 within the first two hours of the challenge and by the end, 95 people had donated a total of £1,815.

The Army Officer edited all the videos she was sent in support of her fundraising into the clip below. 

Anyone inspired by Preet's efforts can still donate and help raise money for the NHS then visit her fundraising page here.

Preet’s love for endurance challenges does not seem to be stopping any time soon. The Army Officer is preparing for a solo crossing in Antarctica in November 2021. She said: 

“My aim is to do an expedition in Antarctica … where I will be pulling all of my kit, my sled, for approximately 60 days.” 

As Preet writes on her website, there are not many women who have completed a solo, unsupported trek of Antarctica. She said:

“It is time to add some more names, diversity and to make history.” 

If the lockdown is lifted in time, Preet hopes to train for this epic Antarctic challenge by completing a team crossing of Greenland during August and will drag a tyre around the London Marathon in October.

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