The Factory to Festival Miles Better Together event had 187 people taking part in their own way to help raise £11,000 for local charities.
The fortnight-long, socially distanced fundraising event was organised by Leyland Trucks’ Helping Hand as an alternative to one of the charities biggest yearly fundraisers, the Factory to Festival bike ride.
Stuart Derbyshire, Leyland Trucks prototype manager and Helping Hand committee member, explains how the charity didn’t let social distancing guidelines stop them from being able to raise funds for local causes:
“The lockdown restrictions meant we had to make some difficult decisions, including to cancel this year’s Factory to Festival bike ride. But we couldn’t just place our social value agenda on pause. We wanted to ensure our fundraising efforts could continue, to give our team and their loved ones a great reason to keep fit during the summer.
“We were presented with an opportunity to do things a bit differently which, in hindsight, have opened our eyes to the world of social media and enabled us to push forward our charitable agenda in a safe way. At a time when local causes needed our help more than ever, I’m truly in awe at what we have achieved together with the incredible generosity of all our sponsors.”
The event was a huge success and exceeded expectations, a target of 2,800 miles was set beforehand but the staff smashed that target by clocking up over 9,400 miles.
People of all ages got involved to help make Miles Better Together as successful as possible:
“There are also some emotional takeaways from the event. For example, James Woodhouse, a nine-year-old participant in our event raised a massive £2,350 of our £11,000 fundraising total – that’s almost 20 per cent of our overall collection,
“Stories like this one that emerge from our events show that what we do is a true community effort, where determination defeats adversity. That’s why we can say it is one of our most successful years ever, despite all the challenges we encountered.”
The participants of the event all contributed in their own way, many cycled or ran their miles whilst one unique staff member decided to do a truck pull.
Stuart explains how it felt to have so many people getting involved and helping in their own way all to achieve a common goal:
“It felt fantastic. It showed just how creative people can be and the positive way they have responded to the COVID situation. We had running events, triathlons, marathons, cycling challenges, walking clubs and more – everyone played to their strengths to ensure they could take part,
“But you’re right, Ben Holloway displaying unbelievable strength, stamina and determination to pull a 7.5 tonne DAF truck for 1.3km was one of the standout moments of the fortnight.”
The benefactors of the fundraising were carefully chosen to “say a huge thank you to those who have delivered vital front line and care services and made a considerable impact in our community throughout COVID-19.
The chosen charities were St Catherines Hospice, The Ambulance Service Charity and other NHS front line charities.
Stuart also praised the participants and sponsers as well as St Catherine’s Hospice, TWA Marketing and Leyland Radio who “were all crucial to the event being such a success.”