Funds through fitness: CEO kicks off 10,000 burpees for the CUH stroke unit


Addenbrooke’s CEO Dr Keith McNeil will perform the first of 10,000 burpees – a military-inspired strength and agility exercise – to raise money for the Trust’s stroke rehabilitation unit.

A team of 16 people from the Trust gym’s ‘strength and conditioning’ group will take on the marathon challenge on Saturday 01 March from 12:00, in the Hexagon, Frank Lee Centre. Staff and public are being encouraged to show their support by donating to the group’s Just Giving page ( and by visiting on the day.

Event organisers Graeme Keeton and Ben Weatherley said, “Burpees are an explosive exercise, designed to test strength, speed and agility. They were chosen because as a whole-body movement, they should raise awareness of the often-paralysing effects of stroke.”

The stroke unit sees around 600 patients a year, most of whom require intensive physical, speech and cognitive therapy, for memory loss and reasoning problems. Funds raised will be used to buy essential rehabilitation equipment, which is used extensively by patients from across the Trust.

Stroke affects 150,000 people in the UK every year, and the effects can be disabling. Sue Hicks, 53 from Haverhill had a stroke just before Christmas:

“I’d seen the F.A.S.T adverts on TV – Face, Arms, Speech etc – so I knew straight away what was happening. My arms became heavy and I could feel that the muscles in my face were changing. I was watching my two sons play football at the time, so I sat down in the dugout. Someone asked if I was alright, but my speech was slurred. An ambulance was called, and they took me to Addenbrooke’s. It was very scary.”

After being assessed in the emergency department, Sue was transferred to the Trust’s rehabilitation unit, where work began on restoring function to her arm and leg.

“I try and use as much of the equipment as possible, and of course there are good days and bad ones, but there’s always someone here to talk to. A lot of the time I’m using the assisted movement machines to help get the arm or leg going again, and there’s a lady here who helps with massage, too.

"Slowly but surely I’m getting there, with a definite focus on my recovery. I think about my family, driving, my job, and all of the things which I need to regain control of.”

All money raised by the event will be donated to the unit via ACT, the Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust. If you would like to find out more about ACT’s activities, please visit


For further information, please contact Graeme Keeton, communications officer

Communications Department, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 0QQ
Tel: 01223 274713, Email:


Cambridge University Hospitals is one of the largest and best known trusts in the country. As the local hospital for our community we deliver care through Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie hospitals.

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust