A big-hearted teenager is raising money for the NHS by ‘virtually’ cycling from Wimbledon to her family in Invergowrie and back.
Since the beginning of May, Hannah Topen, 13, has been on her home exercise bike every day clocking up the 1,635 kilometre – 1,016 miles – return journey to her grandparents’ homes.
The Wimbledon-based teenager was inspired by her gran, Kathryn Topen, who lives in Invergowrie and worked at Ninewells Hospital and Dundee Royal Infirmary for 40 years.
Dad Andrew, who originally comes from the West End, said: “Hannah has a home exercise bike and after hearing of Captain Tom’s efforts and because her gran was in the NHS, she wanted to raise some money.
“She will be virtually reaching Invergowrie early next week – she is currently five kilometres off reaching Edinburgh.
“I thought her enthusiasm might slow down but it hasn’t, every day she gets on the bike and does 25km.
“It takes her a couple of hours every day and it was all her own idea, it is such a big achievement.
“There is no stopping her.”
Andrew said Hannah was doing a wonderful job and he was so proud of her, particularly when she said she wanted to embark on the challenge for the NHS.
He explained: “Her gran Kathryn was in charge of the ENT clinic at Ninewells and retired a couple of years ago.
“She worked for the NHS for 40 years so this is something very close to our family, and it is about recognising how brave the staff are for working every day.
“Hannah is really missing her grandparents, it has been Christmas since we last saw them.
“We normally come to Dundee a lot but we can’t at the moment, and it is not easy for her, or her sister Abigail.
“The target is £1,635 which is a pound for every kilometre, and it would be fantastic to raise that for the NHS – she has got £700 so far.”
When Hannah does eventually “reach” her destination next week, she and her family will have a video chat with her grandparents in Invergowrie and her gran Joyce Maxwell, who lives in Broughty Ferry.
Andrew added the family is also looking forward to being able to come back to Dundee to visit their relatives as soon as the lockdown restrictions are lifted.
Hannah is collecting donations for her efforts online at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/hannah-topen