Underground challenge team raises funds for Niamh’s Next Step

The Tube Challenge saw a team of six visit all 270 tube stations in a day for Niamh's Next Step
The Tube Challenge saw a team of six visit all 270 tube stations in a day for Niamh's Next Step

Commuters, delays and fatigue were unable to stop four fundraisers visiting every one of the 270 London Underground stations in a day.

The team of four’s tube challenge started at 5.02am from Hounslow West tube station on April 15 and then it was a race against the clock to see if they could visit every station on the 11 tube lines before the last train at 11.30pm.

Simon Cox had attempted the challenge twice before, but it was his third attempt, raising money for Niamh’s Next Step, which saw him finally complete it.

He said: “It was absolutely amazing.

“I would recommend it to anyone doing something for charity as it is a fabulous thing to do.

“A couple of trains cancelled on us, got stuck in the station or signal problems, but we did it in 18 hours and 18 minutes.”

Simon was joined by Ian Byers as well as two members of Team GB: Kelly Edwards, a judo star who competed at the London Olympics in 2012 and won a silver medal in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, and paralympian Julie Rogers.

They had a route planned out before they started, but problems including signal failure or breakdowns could have stopped them in their tracks anywhere along the route.

Much of the day was spent running up and down stairs and escalators as well as trying to avoid commuters and visitors to the capital.

They even managed to get one driver to stop as he was leaving the station and open the doors for them, preventing a 40-minute wait for the next train late on in the day.

A guy at Edgware Road asked what were we doing and then donated £20.

Simon Cox

Food, water and energy drinks were essential for the challenge and were carried by the team to keep them going.

They wore matching T-shirts to show why they were racing from one station to the next, leading to people asking why they were doing it and this resulted in donations from strangers.

This included two train drivers who donated after taking the team to their next destination.

Simon said: “We had a really positive reaction from people.

“I had a guy at Edgware Road sat next to me who was looking at the route and he asked what were we doing and then he donated £20 on our Just Giving page.

“We had other people just looking at us and they asked what we were doing and then they gave us cash.

“One of the drivers had even seen the story in the Northants Telegraph.”

All donations for the challenge will go to Niamh’s Next Step, the Wellingborough-based charity set up in memory of five-year-old Niamh Curry who lost her fight against neuroblastoma in May 2012.

Her parents Sam and Chris Curry launched the charity to raise awareness and fund research into the rare childhood cancer.

Simon, who visited the four national stadiums of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland last year for the charity with Chris Curry, said: “Anything that raises awareness for the charity and about neuroblastoma really does help as well as helping raise money.”

The team is just a few pence away from its £1,000 fundraising target.

But there is still time for people to donate by going to www.tubechallengers.co.uk or visiting their Just Giving page.

For more information about the charity go to www.niamhsnextstep.com.