Gruelling challenge for Sunderland hospital

Fundraiser John Peatfield hands over �2,000 to Sunderland Pet Aid Hospital, received by Senior Vet Lianne O'Brien and watched by Head Nurse Lindsay Atkinson, and John's partner Karen Watson and daughter Sophie Terrett.

Fundraiser John Peatfield hands over �2,000 to Sunderland Pet Aid Hospital, received by Senior Vet Lianne O'Brien and watched by Head Nurse Lindsay Atkinson, and John's partner Karen Watson and daughter Sophie Terrett.

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IRON man John Peatfield has handed over funds to a Sunderland animal hospital after completing a gruelling charity challenge.

The 61-year-old took to the hills, roads and water for an “ultra” triathlon in aid of the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) and its £1.6million PetAid hospital, in Castletown, Sunderland.

Despite facing punishing weather conditions, John cycled 86km, rowed 16km and completed a 18km Nordic walking route at Kielder Water, in Northumberland, as part of the three-day 360 Charity Challenge.

Now, John has visited the facility to present a cheque for £2,000.

“It was great to see the hospital and meet the staff,” he said. “I couldn’t believe how busy the place was. They really do an amazing job and, hopefully, the money will help them continue to do it.”

As well as raising money for the PDSA, John, who battled back from a sporting injury to complete the feat last year, also raised £2,200 for Macmillan Cancer Support and £2,000 for Medicins Sans Frontières.

“We’re hoping to continue the fund-raising,” said John. “We’re already planning our next one for another charity. Hopefully, it will be just as successful.”

John, a retired regional director for teachers’ professional development, said he and brother Rob, 47, who also took part in the triathlon, trained hard for the event, visiting Herrington Park to practise cycling and nordic walking.

They were supported by John’s Hall Farm family, partner Karen Watson, her teenage daughter Sophie Terrett and dog Possum.

PDSA senior veterinary surgeon Lianne O’Brien said: “On behalf of everyone at PDSA, I’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone that got involved in the challenge and all those who sponsored them.”

The Echo’s Creature Comforts campaign raised thousands of pounds towards a waiting room at the hospital.

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho