A team of staff from Teesside firm AV Dawson are nursing sore limbs after completing a coast-to-coast bike ride to raise £4,500 in the fight against Alzheimer’s Disease. And the 15-strong group wore their hearts on their sleeves by donning the “Save Our Steel” campaign logo along their arms throughout the 150-mile, three-day journey.
After dipping their bike wheels in the sea at Whitehaven in Cumbria, the intrepid riders travelled across the country before finally reaching the sea closer to home at Saltburn, where they were greeted by a welcoming party of family, friends and colleagues.
As patrons of Middlesbrough and Teesside Philanthropic Foundation, the AV Dawson cyclists will be donating the cash they raised to the charitable movement, who will forward it to local Alzheimer’s-related community groups.
Led by managing director Gary Dawson, all of the group are AV Dawson staff, apart from Steve Hill, who works at Tata Steel’s Skinningrove plant. The rest of the group was made up of Craig Lloyd, Neil Olver, Lewis Simpson, Dave Fry, Jon Lambert, Russell Spink, Lee Vaughan, Andy Humphreys, Chris Donovan, Stuart Nelson, Paul Wilson, Aiden Morgan and Craig Rowley.
After completing the marathon ride, Gary said: “We’re so grateful for all the support we’ve had with this challenge, particularly from our customers and suppliers. “We’ve been working with the Philanthropic Foundation for some time now, but this is the first initiative we’ve done where we’ve got colleagues involved from across the whole business.
“We’re channelling the funds through the Philanthropic to support local people affected by Alzheimer’s Disease.
“It’s something that myself and other colleagues have become much more aware of over recent months, so we all felt it would be really worthwhile to put our support behind it."
Neil Olver, health and safety manager at AV Dawson, and one of the team who organised the initiative, added: “From an initial discussion about a couple of us attempting the coast-to-coast, this grew into something unbelievable.
“The support we’ve had from family, friends, colleagues and customers has been overwhelming.
“When we came down Saltburn bank towards the finishing line and we saw a huge crowd waiting for us, it was out of this world and made us all feel quite emotional.
“For me, that really illustrates the family side of the business.
“The whole event has created such camaraderie. It’s also been great for promoting health and fitness within the business.
“It has been particularly rewarding for me personally to support some of our colleagues through the training. One of the team only bought his bike in January, he did six miles but then couldn’t get back on it for two days! But he completed the full challenge and did brilliantly.
“Many of the team are now wanting to do another ride to keep up the momentum, as they’ve all got the buzz for it now.”