Gleeds take on 100-mile South Downs Ways raising £24,000 for Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals

100 staff from Gleeds ditched their day job on Friday 25th September and raised £24,000 for hospital charity, Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals Charitable Funds.

Fundraisers from Gleeds put their stamina and fitness to the test as they navigated their way by bike and on foot along the 100-mile South Downs Way from Winchester to Eastbourne. Competing against the clock and one another, small teams and individuals hiked, ran and cycled along the coastal path which traverses some of southern England’s steepest hills. The total ascent from end to end equates to 13,600 feet (4,150 m).

Their aim was to raise £20,000 for the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals Charitable Funds in memory of colleague and friend, Alan Fuller. Alan was a respected associate director at Gleeds and sadly passed away in June after battling Burkitts Lymphona.

Explaining what prompted the selection of their chosen charity, Gleeds Director Paul Sweeney, said: “Even from his hospital bed, Alan would email back to the office asking after his projects and praising the care he was receiving from the team at his Oxford hospital. Having spoken to Alan’s family who again mentioned the amazing care Alan had whilst in hospital, we realised instantly that the hospital’s charitable fund was not only a great cause, but one that Alan would have wholeheartedly approved of us supporting.”

Mr Sweeney added: “We were absolutely thrilled to find out that, thanks to the support of our family and friends in the industry, we’ve managed to exceed our fundraising target by £4,000!”
The £24,000 raised as a result of Gleeds’ South Downs Way Challenge will help provide additional specialist equipment and improve facilities for patients – going beyond the standard NHS budgets.

Jayne Ozanne, Director of Fundraising at Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals Charitable Funds, said: “It is so inspiring to hear that the team at Gleeds has faced the very sad loss of a much loved colleague in such a positive way. This event will enable our hospital charity to make a real difference to many other patients, such as helping us to fund additional facilities and equipment and providing specialist training and initiatives for staff. We are incredibly grateful all those who took part in the challenge.”

The South Downs Way Challenge was one in a series of events taking place under the banner of Gleeds’ ‘Global Challenge’. Between Monday 21st September and Friday 25th September 1500 staff across Gleeds’ 56 international offices volunteered one working day to participate in local fundraising events in an attempt to raise £130,000 for charity in one week - one hundred pounds for every year the organisation has been in business.

So far, the business has raised in excess of £100,000 with fundraising tallies still flooding in from Gleeds’ international offices and cash donations.

To find out how you can support Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals Charitable Funds at Oxford University Hospitals' website.