“Minus temperatures, dark, hard going and pretty horrible.” That is how Steven Milicia, Learning and development Manager of Stirling Ackroyd, described that fateful night in March when 27 hardy souls, each a staff member of Stirling Ackroyd, did an overnight trek to the peak of Snowdon.
“And then, after a tough night, there was a moment of pure joy when day finally dawned, made all the sweeter by the fact that we had raised an incredible £20,000 for our longstanding charity partner, Shooting Star Children’s Hospice,” Steven explains. “This was the largest donation made to them in the history of our relationship, something we are really proud of.”
During the pandemic period, charities across the UK suffered greatly as donations slowed to critical levels. No events. No fundraising. No essential revenue to support people in need, and Stirling Ackroyd has supported its charity partners throughout.
“Stirling Ackroyd are our longest standing corporate partner and have been supporting Shooting Star Children’s Hospices for over 20 years, raising hundreds of thousands of pounds,” explains Anne Carey, Head of Corporate Engagement at Shooting Star Children’s Hospices. “Their ongoing support helps us to ensure that we can continue to be there for families with children with life-limiting conditions, when they need us the most. The past two years have been incredibly challenging for Shooting Star Children’s Hospices and we’ve delighted to have the support of Stirling Ackroyd with their Snowdon Sunrise and Cycle Challenges raising much needed funds to support the work we do.”
A NEW & FUN YEAR AHEAD
And so, ready for a new year, Stirling Ackroyd’s 403 employees, as well as friends and family, are being invited to roll up their sleeves, dust off their chicken costumes, rediscover their trainers and don a trending padded lycra onesie – it’s time to get ready for what is set to be the best fundraising year ever. It will be, at least, if Steven has anything to do with it.
A lifelong sportsman, and committed charitable professional, Steven has been arranging and skillfully executing training and charity events for many years. Enthusiastically leading Stirling Ackroyd’s Corporate Social Responsibility team from the front, he is also greatly encouraged by record levels of interest and support.
“The pandemic made people think about what really matters, and now that we are emerging from what has been an incredibly challenging two years I get a real sense that people want to make a difference – do something different, create a positive impact for themselves and others,” he continues.
“Hot on the heels of our very chilly Snowdon adventure, I wanted to refocus our charitable team, and come up with an event, a challenge, something that really excites our branch and HQ staff in the central and greater London areas. It is vitally important to share a common purpose, and based on lots of feedback received in meetings, and via our interactive staff polls, we know that getting out into nature, enjoying the fresh air, and doing exercise in a fun way is a winning combination.”
“And so, I investigated a London to Paris cycle ride! However, when it comes to overseas charitable adventures we need to be ever mindful of both logistics and cost, and although an epic ride from London to Paris charity bike ride would definitely be a fun jaunt, albeit a 312 mile one, we know that most amateur cyclists would be daunted by the distance, and the minimum fundraise needed to cover expenses would be significant. Practicalities considered, and having consulted with everyone, we have, in the glorious summer days ahead, alternatively decided to invite staff and their loved ones to come and join us for The Stirling Ackroyd Great London Cycle Ride 2022.”
Taking place on Friday June 25th and Saturday June 26th, this two day London adventure is expected to see 100+ riders, each of whom has the day off to participate. The start of the race will be at 7am at the Stirling Ackroyd head office in Byfleet.
“Our staff have been amazing, and, encouragingly, some people have even signed up to do the full 150-mile circuit, but more still will join us for shorter routes and brand-to-brand rides,” Steven concludes. “But what we are trying to achieve here is beyond fundraising, beyond team building. We want to bring outdoor activity back into our staff’s lives. We will be encouraging our staff to engage with Stirling Ackroyd’s cycle-to-work scheme in the coming weeks. Our staff can find details of this on their MYSTIRLING portal.
For registration and donation details, please go to our Just Giving page for donations to this wonderful charity.