Travel agency bosses swapped their suits for cycling shorts in a mission to spin 611 miles in 24 hours to raise money for Derian House Children’s Hospice.
Colleagues Alex Dixon and Nadeem Vali from World Travel Holdings UK Ltd (WTH UK), based in Chorley, had sweat pouring from their faces as they pedalled from 12pm on Thursday (28 July) until 12pm the next day – and have so far raised almost £2,000.
On stationary bikes borrowed from JD Gyms Preston, the pair took turns over one-hour intervals so that they could rest, sleep and eat.
Their colleagues jumped at the chance to help rack up some more mileage with staff joining in during the day, and those that couldn’t make it cheered them on as they followed along on a YouTube live-stream.
The cycle challenge kick-started the business’s pledge to raise money for Derian House, their chosen ‘Charity of the Year’ and a hospice that has close links to the company’s friends and family.
Not only have the travel experts completed the cycle challenge, but they also raised £5,000 for Derian House through discretionary donations on their holiday bookings.
Charlotte Hughes, Trainer at World Travel Holdings UK, who helped out with a half-hour cycle, said: “Derian House is an amazing charity which is invaluable to the families that they help. When I knew World Travel Holdings were doing something to support the hospice in July I jumped at the chance to get involved. I can see what a true difference this charity makes to people’s lives – their time together can be short which makes it even more precious and every penny raised is so important!
“I have a close friend who was hesitant to use a hospice when her baby was diagnosed with a life-limiting condition – fast forward 12 months and she will be forever grateful she did. The charity has provided her with quality time for her family as one unit without all of the machines and wires they have to contend with at home. They enjoy story times, swimming and coffee afternoons together to name just a few. Bring on the next fundraiser!”
Alex Dixon, Business Solutions Director at World Travel Holdings UK, said: “As a business we have supported Derian House for many years. Over the last couple of years, we haven’t been able to do much but prior to that, employees have always taken part in various fundraising events including marathons, tough mudder, and home or office events.
“Derian House have helped friends and family close to our colleagues so it’s nice to be able to give a little something back from all of us here at WTH UK as a thank you for all the hard work.”
Nadeem Vali, Head of Business Solutions World Travel Holdings UK, said: “We wanted to do something that would challenge us both physically, mentally and would take us out of our comfort zone.
“That’s where the idea of a 24 cycle came from. We wanted to do something within the office, as that would give us the opportunity to engage as many people as possible – close to the office and via the live stream – and raise the profile of Derian House. The support we have had from colleagues and from the public has blown us away. It fuelled us with the energy and determination we needed to get through the 24 hours and made the whole event worthwhile.
“As a business it definitely brought everyone closer together. We are already discussing what to do for our next challenge and hope to do something bigger and better for the next one!”
Ellie Smith, Community Fundraiser at Derian House, said: “The enthusiasm the WTH team had on the day was incredible!
“We couldn’t do what we do without the dedication of our supporters, like Alex, Nadeem and the whole team, who put in their all to raise money for our children and their families.”
Derian House provides respite and end-of-life care to more than 450 children and young people across the North West.