Leyland Trucks and Lancashire DAF cyclists peddle home to raise £11,000 for St Catherine’s Hospice ⋆ Business Lancashire

Miles have turned into money for local causes, as the Helping Hand #LinkingLeyland Guild Wheel cycle challenge raised more than GBP11,000. A 25-mile journey along the beautiful Guild Wheel, the event saw colleagues, friends and family from Leyland Trucks and headline sponsor, Lancashire DAF, come together to raise funds for St Catherine’s Hospice – where the ride began and ended. Eight-year-old Joshua Brindle from Euxton was the youngest rider on the day, having already clocked 275 miles this year for charity.

After the cycle, which saw the first riders returning home in just over two hours, participants were welcomed by a family fun day with truck displays, bouncy castles, games and food and drink stalls. As well as Lancashire DAF, other sponsors of the event included Rotary Club of Leyland, Schneider Electric, Made Profiles, Actinium, Heskin Fabrications, Carney, Thrive, Preston College and ABC Ltd. The sponsors had collectedly donated GBP8,000 to the fundraising total before the challenge took place.

The Guild Wheel challenge is one of three community wellbeing events being held by Helping Hand this summer as part of the #LinkingLeyland campaign, which is designed to concentrate fundraising efforts on the local area, building engagement between Leyland Trucks and the families, businesses and worthy causes on its doorstep. Stuart Derbyshire, cyclist, Leyland Trucks prototype manager and #LinkingLeyland event lead, said: “As a major local employer, and with a history spanning more than 125 years in the town, it’s important to us to support local charities and initiatives – also with the support of other local businesses and organisations. It’s all run by volunteers who are keen to make a difference.

“For me, this event has a personal motivation too. It was something I started six years ago as a positive way to honour my good friend, Dave Wood. He was a gentle giant.

Sadly, Dave lost his fight against cancer at the age of fifty. The ride this year will benefit a charity that cares for people just like him. Over the past few years, we’ve raised more than GBP75,000 for St Catherine’s Hospice and other fantastic local causes, and it’s an honour to see the total rise through funds raised by our sponsors and everyone who kindly donated.”

Richard Burt, parts manager at Lancashire DAF, said: “The team at Lancashire DAF have enjoyed supporting our ‘neighbour’ Leyland Trucks with their Helping Hand charity over the past six years. Personally, I’ve taken part in the charity ride twice and this year, we were delighted to be sponsoring such an important event. People in our wider community have received care from St Catherine’s Hospice and this event raises awareness of the valuable work they do.

“I’ve been a keen cyclist for years and ridden in Europe as well as closer to home, but what was special about this charity ride is that it was accessible for employees, friends and family, seeing us come together to do something meaningful for a charity on our doorstep.” Chris Pilkington, assembly operator at Leyland Trucks, said: “I’ve been involved in various events to raise money for Helping Hand and every one is so rewarding. I’ve personally had family and friends that have been cared for by St Catherine’s Hospice, but as a community, everyone has a connection to the charity in some way.

This event and others like it are about ensuring their service is supported now and into the future. “But it’s not just about raising money. Events like these are about getting people involved and bringing people together; something we’ve missed in recent years.

It’s an occasion that gets people out and about and, maybe, trying something new. You never know, you might find a new hobby!” Emma Jacovelli, head of community engagement at St Catherine’s Hospice, said: “We’re really overwhelmed and immensely grateful to everyone involved in the Helping Hand cycle challenge for their incredible and unwavering support of St Catherine’s over the years.

“We have to raise funds year in and year out to provide our specialist care and support to local families, and we are truly humbled that the team continue to choose to help the hospice in this way. It’s also wonderful to see so many people turn out for this special community event, which is a great occasion and means so much to people. “On behalf of everyone at St Catherine’s, I’d like to say a very heartfelt ‘thank you’ for this amazing donation, which will make a meaningful difference to those we care for at the hospice and in the community.”

Anyone wishing to donate towards the event and to St Catherine’s Hospice, can do so here: www.justgiving.com/campaign/helpinghandlinkingleyland2022