Four dads whose children were all cared for at Lister Hospital’s neonatal unit in Stevenage are taking part in a 12-hour cycle challenge to raise money towards extending and improving the family room at the facility.

Glyn Doggett, Andrew Hall, Peter Slater and Andrew Lewis will be on static bikes in the main corridor at Lister from 9am to 9pm on Saturday with the aim of cycling 874 miles between them - the equivalent of cycling from Land’s End in Cornwall to John O’Groats in Scotland.

Glyn, who lives in Hitchin, is the chairman of the Lister Neonatal Unit Families Group and, supported by the East and North Hertfordshire Hospitals’ Charity, the group are helping to raise £338,000 to expand the neonatal family room.

The Big Build appeal aims to provide a much larger space that will include a play area, kitchen and the addition of male showers.

Glyn’s son, Max, was born 12 weeks prematurely in August 2013, weighing just 3lbs, and spent eight weeks in Lister’s neonatal unit - which cares for premature and sick newborns.

Glyn, whose son is now a thriving five-year-old, said: “All of us dads have experience of spending time on the unit with our poorly newborns and know just how needed a new lounge is, to provide more comfort, better facilities for cooking and a bigger space for parents to go to for privacy and a chance to reflect during a difficult time.”

The four dads are welcoming support from anyone who would like to join them and help them to reach their target distance, and they hope to raise £2,000 from the event.

Andrew Lewis said: “It will certainly be a challenge and some of us are fitter than others, but we are all motivated to support the fantastic care provided by the neonatal team and ensure other parents like us are helped during what is a very difficult time.”

Deloris Brown, deputy nursing services manager for neonatal, said: “The current family room is small, lacks cooking facilities and can only accommodate six visitors. Demand for the room is more than the capacity we have.

“A new family room would make a world of difference.”

To donate to the cycle challenge, visit

If you would like to support the cycling on the day, get in touch with the families group via