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27th Jun, 2022

Warwickshire scientists trade swabs for sneakers for fund-raiser run

Editorial Correspondent 3rd Mar, 2022 Updated: 4th Mar, 2022

SCIENTISTS from Leamington’s Covid testing megalab will be trading in swabs for sneakers as they take on a charity fund-raiser.

Colleagues from the Rosalind Franklin laboratory only completed their milestone five millionth polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test this month but have already set their sights on a new goal.

Staff members have signed up to the Wright Hassall Leamington Regency 10k Run as they aim to raise some £1,000 for their personally-chosen charity Flourish, which supports the mental wellbeing of girls in Leamington and Warwick aged 11 to 18.

The group is no strangers to good causes, having raised £480 for homeless support charity Helping Hands in last year’s race, while continuing the fight against coronavirus, processing hundreds of thousands of Covid samples a week.

Gavin Roe-Pearce, stakeholder engagement manager at the laboratory, said: “To reach the five million mark is amazing. A sample is somebody’s life so the staff all realise what an important role they are playing.

“Training for the run has been great for our physical and mental health, and it’s a good team-building exercise too.

“We all had a great day last time out but we’re setting ourselves a challenge to try and beat last year’s fundraising tally!”

The publicly-owned laboratory became the UK’s first testing megalab and the biggest of its kind when it opened in July.

It has around 900 staff members and processed around 400,000 PCR tests a week at its peak in December.

Phil Wilding, managing partner of Leamington-based Wright Hassall, said: “It’s fantastic to see the Leamington team lead the way not only in the fight against Covid-19, but also in helping local causes through the Regency Run once again this year. We wish them good luck for their race.”

The event, which has been sponsored by the law firm every year since its inception in 2005, has raised more than £400,000 for local causes over the years.

This year’s run takes place at 9am on Sunday, April 10 and will be opened by Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games heavyweight boxer Lewis Williams.

Race director Sam Tyler added: “The great thing about the event is anybody can enter – whether you’re a team of scientists, or more experienced runners looking to get another race under your belt.

“We’ve already had 1,200 people sign up for the run this year but there’s plenty of time to register.”

Race entry costs £24 and is available until the day of the event.

Visit for information on the race and to donate to the scientists’ fund-raisers.


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