Friends and family surpass fundraising target in memory of beloved Chesterfield doctor who died with Covid

Family, friends and former colleagues of a much-loved former Chesterfield doctor have smashed their £4,444 fundraising target, raising thousands of pounds for Ashgate Hospicecare in his memory.

Friday, 9th April 2021, 10:18 am
Updated Friday, 9th April 2021, 11:44 am

The collective challenge pays tribute to Dr OP Chawla, who treated patients at Wingerworth Surgery and died from Covid-19 on January 2, 2021 after testing positive for the virus.

A total of 71 of the beloved doctor’s friends, family, former colleagues and patients had set themselves the task to run or walk a collective total of 4,444 miles throughout March – the distance from where Dr Chawla trained from Lucknow, India to the surgery he worked in Chesterfield

The group who were initially hoping to raise £4,444 – to match the number of miles they aspire to complete – surpassed their targets by fundraising a total of £4,514 and accumulated 4,916 miles altogether, while there was still a week of the challenge left to go.

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Dr. Tara George is one of 71 people who have taken on the 4,444-mile challenge in memory of Dr. OP Chawla.

Dr Tara George, who was a friend of Dr Chawla and worked with him at the Wingerworth surgery, took part in the collective fundraiser after she came up with the idea.

“Dr Chawla was a close friend to us all,” said Tara.

“He was a driving force behind the building of the new surgery in Wingerworth, dad to my colleague Sudeep, and husband to our senior partner Dr V Chawla.

“He had an infectious smile and a wicked sense of humour as well as being passionate about high quality care for patients.

Dr. OP Chawla died of COVID-19 last year and was a much-loved GP at the Wingerworth surgery.

"He was a father figure around the surgery with his quiet wisdom and pragmatic realism.”

She helped provide care at Ashgate herself as part of her GP training.

Tara continues: “Ashgate Hospicecare is a phenomenal community resource, who look after the palliative care needs of patients in North Derbyshire.

"Dr Chawla was always a huge supporter of the charity and a great believer in the services provided.

"We are mindful that the majority of its income is from charitable donations and this has taken a huge knock during the COVID pandemic.

"We want to know the hospice will be there for us and our patients in the future.”

Dr Chawla’s son, Sudeep, added: “We'd like to say a massive thank you to all who have signed up to participate and donated to our fundraising page.

"Ashgate provides essential services to the North Derbyshire community and we are very proud to be supporting the charity.

"What better way to do this than by getting the community up and on their feet?!”

Carl Jones, Fundraising Manager at Ashgate Hospicecare commented: “I’m delighted that Dr Chawla’s family, colleagues and former patients have chosen to support Ashgate Hospicecare by taking part in this mammoth challenge in memory of him.

“We massively rely on the hard work and the help of our supporters organising their own fundraisers, so we can be there for the families who need us.

"What Sudeep, Tara and the other 70 fundraisers have achieved is nothing short of inspirational.

“A huge thank you from us all at Ashgate.”

To find out more about the fundraiser or donate click here.

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