It’s Time to Attack the Track!

Your Velodrome awaits - the entrance to the Wales National Velodrome, Newport. Image courtesy of John Grayson via Wikimedia Commons

Your Velodrome awaits – the entrance to the Wales National Velodrome, Newport. Image courtesy of John Grayson via Wikimedia Commons

Colleague involvementWe have an exciting new Flagship Event for 2015! Cycling challenges have proved popular with you previously so…

… we bring you a different, indoor challenge called Attack the Track!

There are just 30 places up for grabs for an afternoon of speed – without gears or brakes – on Thursday 26th March at the Wales National Velodrome, from 12pm to 6pm.

The velodrome hosted Team GB and Paralympic GB in their preparations for the last 3 Olympic Games, so you’ll be treading in the footsteps of the likes of Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton and Dame Sarah Storey :)

No experience is required, just good general fitness and reasonable confidence on a bike. The afternoon includes professional coaching, so you’ll soon be pedalling ‘on the boards’ with confidence, just like our British champions do. There’ll also be the chance for some competitive fun with your colleagues!

The afternoon includes:

  • A light lunch
  • Briefing session
  • Hire of fitted bikes
  • Professional coaching
  • Winners prize ceremony
  • Drinks and energy bars

Need a little more information? Here’s the Information for Riders sheet and the answers to the FAQs for you.

Interested? Here’s the Registration Form.

The event may be indoors and in the warm, but I’m sure you’ll agree it’s different… and a challenge!

NB The deadline for applications is Friday, 13th March.

So hurry, places are filling up fast! Send your Registration Forms to Laura Smith in Group Comms.

Posted in Attack the Track, Colleague Involvement, Cycling, Sport, Team Events | Leave a comment

In Memory of Maisie Ann Pickernell

In memory of Maisie Ann Pickernel

Lucy Pickernell has news of a poignant fund-raising event she’s organised for this Sunday (March 1st), in memory of her lovely daughter Maisie who passed away 5 years ago.

She’s organised a sponsored colouring event for local children and their families to attend, to be held at the White Horse Community Centre, Leigh Park, Westbury at 2pm.

Lucy says:

“We will be raising money for the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Bristol Children’s Hospital. The PICU looked after Maisie for 9 days where she received fantastic care from all of the staff involved in her treatment. Due to a genetic condition that could not be treated, Maisie passed away peacefully aged 9 weeks and 4 days.

Bristol Children’s Hospital provides world-class care to babies and children from Bristol, the South West of England, and in some cases the whole of the UK and overseas. We want to continue supporting the hospital in Maisie’s memory, in recognition of the fantastic care they provided for her.

If you are able to support us in raising money for the hospital, then please do so by joining in with our sponsored draw/colouring in. After the event all of the pictures will be presented to the children’s hospital, and will hopefully brighten up somebody’s day.”

Everyone is invited to draw for a specified time. The theme for the day is ‘Easter’ with older children invited to draw freehand, and little ones colouring in prepared templates.

Lucy adds:

The Consortium have very kindly sponsored this event by donating pens, pencils, paper and lots of raffle prizes, and a number of staff and their children have already agreed to take part. The under 5s will be drawing or colouring in for half an hour, and the over 5s for 1 hour.

Whilst this is taking place there will be hot and cold drinks and lots of yummy cakes and biscuits for you to buy, along with tickets for our great raffle. If you are not taking part on the day please feel free to come and join us for coffee and a cake!”

For more information on how you can show your support please contact Lucy at The Consortium.

Lucy, we wish you well for Sunday and we look forward to seeing the results from the day and when they’re proudly on display at the PICU.

Posted in Charity Fundraising, Getting Crafty, Unusual Ideas | Leave a comment

On the Wild Elephant Trail

Journey's End: Sigiriya Rock, Sri Lanka. Picture Credit: ???? via Wikimedia Commons

Journey’s End: Sigiriya Rock, Sri Lanka. Picture Credit: Dschen Reinecke via Wikimedia Commons

Megan after the Bungay Marathon last year

Megan after the Bungay marathon last year

In less than 2 weeks time Bertrams‘ Megan Davies will be in Sri Lanka running in her latest adventure! She’s taken time out to tell us more …

The ‘Wild Elephant Trail’ ultra-marathon is the first ever multi-stage race to be run in Sri Lanka starting on Saturday, 7th March. It’s 210km of scenic trails in Sri Lanka over 6 days, ending with an 1860 step climb to the top of the World Heritage site, the Sigiriya Rock. The race breakdown is as follows:

  • Stage 1: 37km (23.2 miles)
  • Stage 2: 36km (22.5 miles)
  • Stage 3: 41km (25.6 miles)
  • Stage 4: 57km (35.6 miles)
  • Stage 5: 24km (15 miles)
  • Stage 6: 15km (9.4 miles)

The course is mainly on off-road tracks with partly sandy ground, gravel or forest soil. We have been advised that depending on the amount of rainfall, the tracks may be extremely muddy and that we may be required to cross some waterholes. The course is mainly flat, with just a few ascents and descents and will take us through jungles, elephant corridors, alongside canals and through local villages – the scenery should be spectacular!

The weather during the race will be very humid, with the average yearly temperature ranging from 28 to 30 °C (82.4 to 86.0 °F) – I think this will be what challenges me more than the terrain during this race.

There are some incredibly strong runners attending this race – of those I know on the competitor list, several of them have won or come second in the races they have previously taken part in. For me, this will be a scenic run. There is no expectation on position, as always, if I complete the course then I am happy!

I am raising money for Sarcoma UK during this race. Sarcoma UK is the soft tissue and bone cancer charity, which is not government-funded and relies solely on funds raised and donations. It’s a fantastic organisation that provides support to those who have been diagnosed with sarcoma and also funds much of the research that is done into finding cures for what is a very invasive and destructive disease. It’s a cause very close to my heart and I am very grateful for any donations made.

I have set up a JustGiving page, or if it’s easier you can donate £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10 by texting MDAV85 and the amount you would like to donate to 70070. All costs incurred during this event are paid for by me, so all money raised will go to the charity.

If you would like any further information on the race please visit the Wild Elephant Trail website where you can also see how I’m getting on during the week of the run!

I can’t wait to get started on this one, despite not feeling altogether ready for it. It’ll be an amazing experience!”

Good luck Megan – we look forward to seeing how you get on!

Posted in Charity Fundraising, Endurance & Obstacle Races, Running, Sport | Leave a comment

A Heart Warming Thank You

It’s always good to see how your fundraising is spent, and DMD‘s Maria Hieke has the latest example, courtesy of Wishes4Kids

Wishes4Kids thank you

Maria adds:

“Thanks to all who helped in raising £101.00 by either entering in to the draw for ‘Jasper Harrods 2014 Bear’ and the IT team for wearing their Christmas Jumpers.

Again, thanks for all your support, which is much appreciated.”

Posted in Charity Fundraising Follow-up | 1 Comment

Wear Red Update

Fund raising poster for Waer Red on the 6th FebruaryWe have an update from Frances Plant on how their Wear Red day went at Bertrams

“We have now tallied this up and we raised a massive £240.70.

This will be split equally between the two charities.” [Children’s Heart Federation and HeartlineEd]

Taking Newport’s tally into account, we now have a fantastic £415.71 raised from this new fundraising event.

Posted in Appearance, Charity Fundraising, Dress Up/Down Days | 1 Comment

Run Away!

Brighton Marathon LogoMichael Williams has news of his personal challenge for 2015…

“I’m running a marathon. Stop laughing, I’m serious.

I know you may have trouble reconciling the image you have of unfit 42-year-old me and that of the finely honed athlete you need to be to complete the 42 kilometre race. Nevertheless, on April 12th I will be poised at the start line of the Brighton Marathon, hopefully fit enough to race to the end.

Now every journey starts with a single step – there are about 40,000 steps in a marathon by the way – and this one is no different. Here are some statistics, for you:

  • training started on Boxing Day and by the time I line up on the 12th April I will have already run 592 kilometres
  • that’s the equivalent of running 3.5 times from home in Brighton to Head Office in Swindon
  • and it’s 50 kilometres further than the Paris to Swindon cycle ride we did in 2013

All that before I even start the race!

Training has already included sun, rain, sleet and snow as well as icy laps of Rowan House Car Park. That’s dedication.

I won’t be alone as in amongst the other 18000 fools runners will be ex SN employee and marathon veteran (this is her fourth) Emily Clayton. We ran one 10 mile race together (my first and only) some 10 years ago that was so traumatic I hung up my trainers and haven’t run a race since…

We are jointly raising money for Cancer Research and would very much like you to donate by clicking here. So, please dig deep and donate whatever you can – I need all the financial encouragement I can get!”

Good luck Michael – we look forward to hearing how you and Emily get on! Any chance of some before and after photos?

Posted in Charity Fundraising, Running, Sport | 1 Comment

Newport Wear Red

Newport Wear Red

Lots of cakes! Sarah Melchior holds the first cake that she’s ever made! We are still alive!! Judy Read gives Craig Bourne from the stock room his £34.00 prize as the winner of guessing how many feathers were in the four-foot feather boa.

Judy Read has news of Newport‘s Wear Red Day last Friday in support of The British Heart Foundations Wear It. Beat It. event. It turns out they didn’t just see red…

” We sold cakes all week from Customer Services, had a raffle to guess how many feathers on a four-foot feather boa, and had bacon rolls today. Even the boys wore red in the Warehouse today…  something to do with Wales playing Rugby against England.”

The total raised was a fantastic £175.01.

The warehouse wear red

Posted in Appearance, Bacon Butties, Cakes, Charity Fundraising, Dress Up/Down Days, Food and Drink | 1 Comment

My Annual Marathon Challenge

LTN’s Eugene Howson is fast becoming our most travelled marathon runner! After Paris in 2013 and Bournemouth last year, he’s set to add Spain to his list of travels. Here he is to tell us more about his plans for 2015…

“On Sunday March 15th 2015, I have secured a place to compete in the Barcelona Marathon.

This is reportedly a well organised race with circa. 17,000 runners taking part, and the race runs past many of the city’s impressive sights.

It’s a personal challenge but also an opportunity to raise valuable funds for Macmillan Cancer Support who are my chosen charity.

All support is valued and any donations will make an incredible difference to cancer care.

My training preparation is to plan and going well, and I have set up a JustGiving page.”

Sounds fantastic Eugene – looking forward to seeing a picture of you running past the Sagrada Familia!

Posted in Charity Fundraising, Running, Sport | 1 Comment

First Half Marathon Done!!!

Jo Cooke running

Jo in action!

One down, another 9 to go! FFSC‘s Jo Cooke tells us about the first half marathon in her year-long challenge

“We got confirmation the day before that the race was still on so we all met at 8am on Sunday morning to get on our coach to head up to Inskip which is between Preston and Blackpool… what a fab day, freezing but fab!

With it being my first half marathon I was expecting to finish in about 2 hours 10 minutes, but managed to finish it in 1 hour 58 minutes!!

Many thanks to all of those that have donated so far; with your generosity and support I’m already at £460 which is absolutely brilliant. I’m overwhelmed with the support you’ve given so far and makes me even more determined to get through the next 9!!

The next one is Liversedge on the 15th February, a nice local one for Cleckheaton if you fancy cheering me on… and hopefully by 18th February I should know about The Great North Run.

Many thanks again for those who have donated on my JustGiving page so far.”

Good luck for the next one Jo! Fingers crossed it’s good news from the ballot for the Great North Run.

Posted in Charity Fundraising, Running, Sport | 1 Comment

Saturday Night is African Night

EBOLA African Night event poster

The latest news from Yaima Ballester at Dawson Books re fund-raising for Médecins sans Frontières

Posted in Charity Fundraising, Music and Gigs | 1 Comment