In spite of his disability, Simon Gamewell has used the power of positivity to drive him on his 138-mile journey from Liverpool University Hospital to Skegness and District General Hospital.
Simon, from Leeds, works for a digital forum called TAP (Thank And Praise) which gives people the chance to express gratitude to others.
Five years ago he suffered spinal cord injuries after falling 100 feet, which has left him in a wheelchair, but he was not ready to give up on life.
He explained: "Before my accident I enjoyed a long career in ESL, teaching English in various locations around South East Asia, where I often received messages of gratitude from his students.
"It made me realise the power of gratitude, making the long hours worthwhile, knowing that it’s possible to make a difference to people’s lives."
He began his 'Coast2Coast Gratitude' venture as a way for him to make a difference.
Since setting off from Liverpool University Hospital, his goal has been to give health and care workers the praise that they deserve and to inspire others to reach new heights and overcome the obstacles that life throws at them.
On his journey, he used the TAP digital platform to support key workers by inviting anyone to send a message of thanks on their website.
Ultimately he wanted to hit 500 messages, as well as raise money for NHS Charities Together as a way of supporting the health and care workers who have helped him and others.
Simon commented: "I used to be a teacher in Vietnam where there is a culture of gratitude. The feeling of positivity spreads and I want to spread this feeling. Nurses are working as hard now as they did during lockdown. If I can make a few of them smile by thanking them then my trek is worthwhile.”
Arriving in Skegness he said: "Mission accomplished. I've made it and I can't believe it.
"It's been a long 10 days but mission accomplished. Fantastic.
"As soon as I arrived in Skegness a man came up to me and said that he had heard me on the radio and wanted to say congratulations.
"It's great that the positivity and the word is spreading.
“As we continue to create a new normal and emerge from the pandemic, it is important that we
continue to show gratitude to those unsung heroes, especially those have risked and continue to risk their lives working on the front line”.
After Liverpool University Hospital, Simon visited Manchester Children’s Hospital, Christies NHS Foundation, Woods Hospital, Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care, Sheffield Children’s Hospital, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Bassetlaw Hospital, Lincoln County Hospital, BMI Lincoln Hospitial before arriving at Skegness and District General Hospital.
His own post on the TAP wall said: "To: Skegness and District General Hospital, All Healthcare/NHS Workers
"I would like to thank Skegness and District General Hospital for the encouragement and support I received on my journey from coast to coast, helping me to spread positivity through the power of gratitude across the country!
"From: Simon Gamewell."
Match funding was provided from TAP’s corporate supporter, M and L Healthcare. “As a TAP Supporter, M&L Healthcare is delighted to be sponsoring Simon’s Coast 2 Coast Trip to raise awareness of this inspirational workforce while raising funds for NHS Charities Together," said Stephen Maguire, Partner at M and L Healthcare.
There is still time to support Simon by sending your own messages or making a donation by visiting www.thankandpraise.com/simon . Anyone can give or read the messages of thanks and there is no cost. Download the TAP App on iOS and Android by searching for ‘TAP Thank and Praise’ on the App Store.
You can also follow the project on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TAPThankAndPraise