Commercial’s fundraising team of seven has announced that they have reached the halfway mark in their bid to raise £25,000 for the charity Versus Arthritis. The #500infive team will be cycling from Commercial’s head office in Cheltenham on Saturday 8th June to the company’s Leeds office, then on to the London office to finish back in Cheltenham on Wednesday 12th June.
They have raised just over £12,500 and, along with intensifying their training, are stepping up their efforts to reach their target for the charity. Versus Arthritis is a community of volunteers, healthcare professionals, researchers and friends that provides support for people living with arthritis across the UK. It supports world-class research and breakthrough treatments.
Aaron George, who joined Commercial through the Commercial Foundation No Limits programme, has had the debilitating condition for many years and is the inspiration behind the 500-mile cycle. A keen sportsman, and once a promising young footballer, his life has changed course many times as a result of arthritis, and he continues to battle both the mental and physical effects of the disease.
There has been strong support for the cause, and for Aaron who, as a result of Commercial’s campaign, has been presented with a great opportunity to use his expertise. Aaron attended the Gloucester Rugby HITZ programme, an education course that works with 16-24 year old NEET students [Not in Education, Employment or Training] to help them to gain experience and qualifications towards employment, education or training – and he has been offered to return in a mentoring role to help support future students.
Simone Hindmarch, Managing Director and Co-Founder said, “we are delighted with the progress of the fundraising so far, and with the fact that Aaron has been offered this great opportunity as a result. We are being generously supported by Canon as our Platinum Sponsor, as well as by Sky, Vow, Telprint, UFP, Aruba, Exertis and Dixons Carphone.
“Elspeth Biltoft of Rosebud Preserves is very kindly providing jars of jam to the team for restorative jam sandwiches during training and the ride itself, while Tom Helme of Willow Creative has designed the cyclists’ shirts and shorts free of charge.
“This generosity means a lot to us, and of course it’s for a really great cause. We’re on the final stretch now, and Alan Martin, Andrew McKenzie, Liam Dutson, Mark Hallett, Kevin Ablett, Mark Butchers andLee Williams are pushing on with their training to be ready on Saturday 8th June.”