Donations continue as the company funds children’s hospice Family Day
“Cycling 145 miles in all weathers for 17-hours is honestly pretty intense, but the pain and hard work was totally worth it,” explains an exhausted but delighted Steven Milicia, lead company fundraiser and Head of Learning and Development at Stirling Ackroyd.
11 intrepid cyclists signed up for the The Stirling Ackroyd Great London Charity Bike Ride 2022, a challenge that saw the group navigate the highways and byways of Central London, Greater London and Surrey, stopping at each of Stirling Ackroyd’s 35 branches.
To raise £7,000 in charitable sponsorship so that the team and their supporters can fund a family fun day out for the Shooting Star Children’s Hospice charity – a very special annual event that brings children with life-limiting conditions and the families that love and care for them together for a day of carefree fun and laughter.
1 Epic Charity Cycle
11 member team
17 hour cycle
145 mile route
35 branch stop
£7,500+ raised for the cycle race
£28,000 raised for charity this year
175 red light stops….
Picture the scene. Friday the 24th June, 7.30am. The company’s 11 member team start their cycle from outside Stirling Ackroyd’s Byfleet branch.
Full of excitement (and a level of trepidation), Steven Milicia, Matt Hewitt, Adnan Khan, Matthew Fernandez, Antonios Kozakis, George Davey, Guy Barlow, Beckie Fanelli, Diana Kovacheva, Kyle Nelsson-Esch, and Julian Dunbar set off with one mission in mind. To support Shooting Star Children’s Hospice and to make children’s lives, lives that will be tragically cut short, as happy and comfortable as they possibly can be. The team was backed up by support van driver Brett Sullings – an essential part of the adventure as tired souls required varying degrees of support en route.
“I love cycling,” continues Steven. “However, many of my valiant team members would claim to be enthusiastic amateurs, not cycling on a regular basis. Because of this, we created a challenge to suit all abilities, some people joining us for the initial branch runs in London, but many more joining for our Greater London and Surrey leg, the more able cyclists completing all 30 branches. All that said, the distance cycled was by no means the measure of success in my eyes. Every teammate was a winner, and together we exceeded our fundraising target and donations are still coming in. “
“Funding the Shooting Star Hospice Family Day really struck a chord with our team and our supporters, and even though people are definitely feeling the negative effects of the current cost of living crisis, everyone knows that charities like Shooting Star deserve solid and ongoing support, whatever the economic weather. The spirit of the mission brought us together and drove us on when things got really tough.”
Outlining the importance of Stirling Ackroyd as a charity partner, Anne Carey, Head of Corporate Engagement at Shooting Star Children’s Hospices tells us more about the relationship.
“Steven and his staff volunteers have played an integral role, mobilising support to raise a staggering £28,000 this year alone. Stirling Ackroyd is our longest standing corporate partner and has been supporting Shooting Star Children’s Hospices for over 20 years, raising hundreds of thousands of pounds.
“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.”
When asked what the hardest point in this latest epic adventure was, Steven advised, “The first branch we visited was Addlestone and the last branch we reached was Croydon at 10:30pm in the wind, rain and dark and we still had the 32 miles ride back to our HO in Byfleet which we reached back at 12:30am. That took a seriously hard push – but we did it!”
Nicest moment? “Along the way we had a lovely moment in Putney when a lady came up to us and recognised the Shooting Star Children’s Hospice logo on our specially designed cycling jerseys which we were all wearing, and just wanted to know what we were doing. So, I explained the challenge and she was so very touched as the charity had looked after her child before they passed away and thanked us for what we were doing.”
So far Stirling Ackroyd has raised £7.5k+ for The Stirling Ackroyd Great London Charity Bike Ride 2022 and money is still coming in from family, friends, colleagues and corporate partners. “This takes our fundraising in 2022 from two events to over £28k, the other event was our Snowdon Sunrise trek back on 1st and 2nd April. If you would like to donate click here. Every penny helps.”