As Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity Company Supporters, we have pledged to donate at least £1000 a year to the leading construction mental health and wellbeing charity. However, it wasn’t an obligation that motivated our staff to raise an incredible £913.75 for the organisation’s worthwhile cause.
What moved our Area Director for Scotland, Chris McLean, Group SHEQ Manager, Sarah Burke and Finance Director, Nick Tappin to cycle 100 miles around London and Surrey in the Prudential RideLondon event on the 4th August was the sad statistic that every single working day two construction workers in the UK take their own life.
With stress, anxiety and depression being responsible for a fifth of all work-related illnesses, Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity knew something needed to be done. That’s why the organisation set up a 24/7 Construction Industry Helpline to deliver emergency financial and emotional support to construction workers in crisis and their families. But their helpline needs manning, and their campaigning needs managing and the financial aid they offer needs financing. That’s why their Company Supporter Initiative is so important. It offers the organisation a steady income so they can accurately forecast their fundraising budget and effectively grow their charitable efforts year upon year.
You can find out more about why Avonside Group support Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity here.
Despite fundraising efforts being at an all-time high, the Construction Enquirer reported that, due to pay-outs to construction workers and their families in need increasing by 67%, the charity made a loss in 2018. Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity provided £1.22million in financial support to families last year with nearly one-third of that sum going to people suffering as a result of mental health and wellbeing issues. As a result, the charity made a deficit of £333.272 last year, even though fundraising for their cause has risen and the CITB supplied a £209,000 grant to help train mental health first aid instructors.
So, companies volunteering to generously become part of the charity’s Company Supporter Initiative and fundraising are now more important than ever.
Just because the cause was important, and the fundraising was much needed it doesn’t mean to say that the Avonside team didn’t thoroughly enjoy their cycling experience! Organised by London Marathon Events Limited, who are the people behind the famous Virgin Money London Marathon, and SweetSpot Group, who bring us The UK’s largest professional bike race, Tour of Britain, the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 is described as being “the prefect traffic ride for a range of cycling abilities.” The route takes riders through the likes of Hampton Court, Kingston, and Wimbledon to finish at The Mall.
Such a long route required putting in the hours when it came to training. Sarah was training at least 6 months in advance and shared these photos of the picturesque scenery she enjoyed while out for practice rides in the run-up to the event.
All of our Avonside cycling champions, who proudly sported their Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity branded cycle shirts for the big day, reported that the event was well organised with a lively atmosphere. Speaking about the experience, Chris [pictured below] said:
“A 04:45 am alarm call made for a very early start to the day. Fortunately, the sun was shining and there was very little wind.
“We covered the first 40 miles with ease, enjoying the closed roads and sights of London. When we reached the lanes and hills of Surrey the roads were pretty congested as you would expect with 47,000 riders taking part. There were a few delays at that point but once we had passed this section, and after a few food stops, we really enjoyed the final 20 miles back into London on fast roads with lots of encouragement from the crowds.
“We were delighted to finish safely on the Mall with no punctures or injuries.”
Nick [pictured above] added: “Riding through London and passing the sights with the roads closed to traffic, never stopping for a light or junction was awesome!”
Meanwhile, Sarah thought the challenge was “worth every mile.”
We’d like to say a special thank you to Russell Roof Tiles who very generously donated £100 to our cause, a pound for each mile cycled. Thanks, Andrew, Coral and the rest of the Russell Roof Tiles Team!
You can still donate online by visiting Sarah’s JustGiving page or, if you prefer, you can donate by texting: TILE91 to 70070. Thank you in advance!