The Biggest Loser: the results are in

Certificate awarded to biggest loser participantsMonika Fenicz at Dawson Books has been in touch to tell us about the results of “The Biggest Loser” initiative she started with her colleagues in July. This was to see who could resist all those tempting treats and lose the most weight…

We have finished our competition now and it was actually a draw between me and Nasser Lassoued. So we have shared the winning pot. We both lost overall 8.6 kg in 8 weeks which is 18.96 lbs.

It was very challenging because 8 weeks is a long time to go without no treats, but all people involved did really well. Overall we all have lost 32.1 kg  which is 5.05 stone :)

We all proud of each other and I have managed to design a certificate for everyone.

As well as Monika and Nasser, they were joined by Paul McHenry, Chris Bone, Mary Evans, Lorraine Sarsby, Chaelyn Allcock, Michelle Linge and  Andy Feetham. Their weight loss ranged from 0.3 to 8.6 kg aka 0.35 to 7.6% in bodyweight!

Posted in Appearance, Colleague Link-Up | Leave a comment

Ian Tackles The Ride Across Britain

Picture of the distances sign at Land's EndFor any cyclist who relishes a challenge, the Land’s End to John O’Groats route must be high up on the ‘must do’ list. Rowan House‘s Ian Tallamy is currently ticking it off his and has written in to tell us more…

Picture of Ian Tallamy on his bike

Ian looks raring to go!

Having taken a break from the Smiths News bike rides for a couple of years, I felt another challenge beckoning me, and one of the longest and most famous cycle challenges is the Land’s End to John O’Groats bike ride.

It’s quite a marathon bike ride, which started for me on Saturday 6th of September, with the ride starting from Land’s End. It’s a total of 970 miles over 9 days, averaging over 100 miles a day. The ride, known as the “Deloitte Ride Across Britain” is one of the biggest organised cycle rides covering the length of the country.

One of the organisers is Andy Cook, the same person who helped to organise previous Smiths News bike rides, however we won’t be staying in a Premier Inn overnight, instead we can look forward to camping in a field, portable showers and dodgy bathroom facilities – and a 6:00am start each day.

I’ve been in training for several months now, and although I’ve cycled over 100 miles in a day, repeating this every day for 9 days in a row with some tough hills thrown into the mix is going to be tough.

Although this is a personal challenge, I’m also hoping to raise money in the process. One of my close friends is a research scientist working for the British Heart Foundation, looking for ways to help prevent heart disease and looking for ways of treating and preventing fatal diseases. If you feel that you’re able to donate some spare cash, then I’d be delighted if you could give something to this worthy cause.

So if you haven’t yet already spent this year’s charity donations then I’d appreciate any help. To donate you can either connect to my Justgiving page, or you can donate by text, by texting the phrase ‘ITBK66 £x’  (where x is 2, 5 or 10) to the number 70070, but please don’t text with your company mobile – check the bill payer’s permission first.

Many thanks.

We hope it’s going well Ian, and we look forward to hearing all about it on your return!

Posted in Charity Fundraising, Cycling, Sport | Leave a comment

Mission Accomplished in the Valleys

If the embedded video doesn’t work, try this link instead.

Further to our introductory post, Simon Cousins has written in to tell us about the successful completion of  his latest cycling challenge. He told us:

“On Sunday 31 August a couple of mates and I successfully completed the Five Valleys Sportive in South Wales.  The weather was perfect but the ride was much tougher than I had anticipated with about 6,000 feet of ascending.

Thanks again to everyone who has sponsored me, it is greatly appreciated.”

The last time we looked at his donation page, Simon has raised £732 for Swindon 105.5 community radio station.

The video show Simon’s descent of the Rhigos Pass. As well as the great scenery, it demonstrates how a streamlined body shape affects the speed on a bike. Also look out for the unexpected interlude near the end!

Posted in Charity Fundraising, Cycling, Sport | 1 Comment

Up For The Cup

Logo for this years Futsal competition

All the teams and their player details are now available on a dedicated tournament Page. With 30 teams and over 200 registered players, it looks set to be a well-fought contest on September 28th!

Everyone will be competing for the Alan Humphrey trophy.

Lend your support to your team by adding a Comment below!

Posted in Colleague Link-Up, Indoor Football Fun Day | Leave a comment

Thursday is Cycle to Work Day!

Cycle to work day logoCycling is proving a popular challenge for Community Link-Up participants this year, so you may be interested to know Thursday 4th September is Cycle to Work day! This national initiative is designed to encourage everyone to take to two wheels and cycle to work for one day.

If you’re planning to cycle to work on Thursday – as a regular cyclist or just giving it a go for Cycle to Work Day, we’d love to see your photos! It would be great to feature a gallery of you all in Community Link-Up, so send your pictures to Community Linkup with your name, location and distance cycled and we’ll do the rest!

alan sendall and bikeNot only has Borehamwood‘s Alan Sendall registered his interest in Cycle to Work Day, he’s also following it up on Sunday 7th September by cycling 50 miles for Watford Peace Hospice in their Pedal for Peace event. Alan says on his MyDonate page:

“It’s a while since I’ve undertaken a challenge, but I thought I ought to keep up with the daughters so here goes!” His daughter Kate has already pledged to ensure he’s well stocked up with tea and bananas for the ride :)

Posted in Charity Fundraising, Cycling, Event Focus, Sport | 1 Comment

In a Month’s Time…

Logo for this years Futsal competition… this year’s Futsal tournament will be underway!

29 teams from 17 locations will play their hearts out to try to beat last year’s winning team and lift the Alan Humphrey trophy.

Without further ado, let’s see the teams lining up for this year’s tournament:

    • The Shield – Slough
    • JACK’s – Rowan House
    • Stockport FC
    • The Class of 2014 – The Consortium, Trowbridge
    • Newmarket Wreckers
    • The Conslaughter’Em – The Consortium, Trowbridge – will they retain their title?
    • Uncaged Rovers – Newport
    • Real Leftovers – Newport
    • Returns United – Newport
    • Winspears Warriors – Newport
    • Nottingham Dribblers
    • BG1 – Borehamwood
    • Instore – Worcester
    • Alpha Females – Rowan House
    • The Misfits – Rowan House
    • Liverpool House
    • The Shrewsbury Strollers – The Consortium, Shrewsbury
    • NAC Novices
    • Plymouth Pilgrims
    • Despicable MSC – Worcester
    • Norfolk En Chance – Birmingham
    • Dirty Dozen – Birmingham
    • So-real Madrid – Birmingham
    • Team Metro – Borehamwood
    • Bertrams United
    • Surreal Madrid – Rowan House
    • Langley United – LTN/DMD
    • Sex, Drugs and Carlton Cole – The Consortium, Trowbridge
    • 2 Left Feet – Stockport
    • Slough City

A team Page will be set up soon so you can see who’s who on all the teams.

Who will be this year’s special guest? Watch this space for a very special announcement!

Posted in Colleague Link-Up, Indoor Football Fun Day

Andrew’s Alpine Challenge: Snow in Summer

Andrew celebrates his achievement at the top of the mountain

Andrew (right) celebrates at the top of The Monch

The prospect of snow, hard work and the need to consume around 6,000 calories (the equivalent of 25 mars bars) for a 10-12 hour ascent did not sway Rowan House‘s Andrew Caple from his goal of climbing in the French Alps earlier this month.

Andrew reports on his achievement:

My trip started with a weekend based in Chamonix in the French Alps with two acclimatisation ascents to get used to the altitude( Le Brevant 2525 metres on the Saturday afternoon and a gruelling 7 hours round-trip of Mont Buet 3096 metres on Sunday,  including 2000 metres of ascent).

Bad weather disrupted the rest of the week with weather fronts depositing significant snowfall above 3000 metres and rendering peaks like the Matterhorn and Eiger impossible to ascend.

View from Aretes des Cosmiques

View from Aretes des Cosmiques

Tuesday brought a brilliant day’s weather so we managed to bag one of the alpine classic mixed routes – the Aretes des Cosmiques (alpine grade AD) on the Aiguille du Midi 3842 metres.

However Tuesday evening brought the arrival of a significant thunderstorm and further heavy snowfall and we woke on Wednesday to hear the news of the death of a party of six French climbers overnight elsewhere in the mountain range which brought home the dangers faced in the mountains this summer.

Thursday saw the arrival of good weather until later in the day, so we took the opportunity to travel to the Bernese Oberland in Switzerland and ascended from Grindelwald to the Jungrfraujoch glacier by 3pm.

After dropping as much gear as possible in a nearby mountain hut we made a successful rapid ascent to the summit of The Monch, 4107 metres ( The Monch is a close neighbour of the Eiger and Jungfrau) via the South East ridge in deteriorating weather conditions, the ascent /descent was over 650 metres vertical ascent of steep snow/ice and rock steps taking 3 hours for the return trip.

The week was an amazing experience and thanks to many generous donations from friends, family and colleagues I managed to raise a total of £3,100 for The Alzhemier’s Society.

I would like say a big thank you to anyone that donated.

To close, Andrew shared this video of a guided ascent near the top of  the Matterhorn before his trip. It gives you some idea of what he faced on the mountains he did conquer, even though the weather conditions meant he didn’t actually get to climb this particular peak.

NB the video has heights and accompanying music!

Posted in Charity Fundraising, Climbing, Sport | 1 Comment

Sophie Heads for Newcastle

Sophie Morris in her Alzheimers Society running gear

Sophie shows off her Alzheimer’s Society kit to so we have a better chance to spot her on the telly :)

Not content with swimming and dragon boat racing, Instore‘s Sophie Morris is set to add long distance running to her sporting achievements next month.

She’s taking part in the “world’s greatest half marathon” – the Great North Run – which heads out over the iconic Tyne Bridge and finishes along the sea front at South Shields.

Sophie lost her Grandad to Alzheimer’s in 2011 and set herself the challenge to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society. She said:

“The Alzheimer’s Society is a charity very close to my heart. Training has been really tough, but it’ll all be in memory of my very special Grandad and to raise awareness of dementia.”

The run takes place on Sunday 7th September and if previous years are anything to go by, it will probably be televised, so we can try to spot Sophie amongst the runners! Also, pop along to her JustGiving page to add your support.

Posted in Charity Fundraising, Running, Sport | 1 Comment

Well, What Happened Next?

Last week we heard about Debbie and Matt Walton’s magnificent Cake Marathon. This week it’s time to tell you about another marathon of a different kind…

100 mile marathon walk from skegness to nottingham

This time Debbie drove the support vehicle whilst her husband Matt and friend Simon walked 100 miles from Skegness back to Nottingham. Fancy dress plus the odd bevvy or two helped to create a carnival atmosphere for such a terrific effort.

The walk took place on July 30th and this time a fantastic £2,450 was raised for Macmillan.

I make that a combined total of £3,485.50 raised across both events. Well done Debbie and Matt – what you’ve achieved is truly inspirational.

Posted in Charity Fundraising, Sport, Walking | 1 Comment

Debbie’s Cake Marathon

cake stall at the Americana for Macmillan cancer care

A peep inside the tent reveals the tempting treats on offer

We’ve reported on plenty of marathon runs in Community Link-Up before, but today we have news of a cake marathon!

Nottingham‘s Debbie Walton and her husband Matt were kept very busy last month when they spent four days at the Notts Americana with their tea, coffee and cake stall. They managed to raise an impressive £1,035.50 for Macmillan.

And that’s not all! Our next post will reveal what they did next…

Posted in Cakes, Charity Fundraising, Fetes, Sales and Raffles, Food and Drink | 1 Comment