From Solihull to Greater Manchester via the Peak District - employees countdown to 170-mile charity challenge
A group of BT staff are swapping their offices for the open road – but it’s all for a wheelie good cause.
The 60-strong team are getting on their bikes and cycling around 170 miles over three days to raise money for BBC Children in Need.
The colleagues, some of whom have not saddled up since childhood, are setting off from Birmingham Business Park, in Solihull, on the morning of Tuesday, November 15.
They will be coming from all corners of the UK to take part in the event, dubbed the Tour de BT.
The challenging route, which is due to include visits to several BT offices, will take the riders across the Midlands, from Solihull to Barlborough in Derbyshire, and onto Greater Manchester.
The most gruelling part of the ride is expected to be through the Peak District. Then it will be downhill from Buxton to Bolton, where the ride is due to finish on the afternoon of Thursday, November 17 – the day before the BBC Children in Need appeal show.
All those involved are part of BT’s corporate division, which is responsible for providing national sales and account management to large and medium-sized organisations.
The team building fund-raiser was the brainchild of Tim Skinner, BT’s solutions sales director, who is a keen cyclist.
He said: “As our team is spread around the country, we were keen to come up with a team building idea that we could all do together, whilst at the same time raising money for Children In Need. We’ve even persuaded our managing director to join in.”
They have set themselves the ambitious target of raising around £25,000.
The age range of the participating men and women – from early twenties through to mid-sixties – is matched only by their wide-ranging cycling experience.
Julie Goose, from Chesterfield, who leads a sales team in the East Midlands, only took up cycling around three months ago.
She said: “I’m a bit nervous as we countdown to the big day. The response to the cycling challenge has been amazing, we have over 30 people organising the event and around 60 riders fund-raising. As it looms the anxiety and panic training is starting, some of our riders having only recently bought bikes. But at the same time, I’m tremendously excited - the camaraderie is building and there’s a real buzz amongst the team.
“We’re all supporting each other – although it’s getting a bit competitive when it comes to the actual fund-raising, but that can only be a good thing.”
- BT has supported the BBC Children in Need charity since it formed in 1980 by providing the telephone network management and call centres to help raise money for disadvantaged children and young people.
- As usual, BT will also be operating five call centres on the night - in Glasgow, Lincoln, Newcastle, Warrington, and at the BT Tower in London – with hundreds of BT volunteers taking part.