Kier’s Welsh offices recently took part in the company’s most ambitious charity challenge yet – using green, non-motorised transport to travel from Kier’s most northerly construction site in Orkney to its most southerly in Truro.
The company has raised over £250,000 so far in eight weeks, with the Western & Wales offices raising a whopping £55,000.
Hundreds of Kier employees got involved in the Welsh leg of the journey, which raised money for Wales Air Ambulance, Alzheimer’s Society and Velindre Cancer Care. The money raised will be split between the Kier Foundation – an independent charity that raises money for Kier’s charity partner Alzheimer’s Society – and the local charities, which were chosen by Kier’s employees.
Wendy Stephens, bid coordinator based at Kier’s Cardiff office, who helped plan the Wales leg of the challenge, has a personal connection to Wales Air Ambulance.
“In 2013, my dad was in a farming accident and the Wales Air Ambulance airlifted him to hospital. It took less than five minutes by air ambulance, as opposed to the 40 minute journey it might have been by road. Unfortunately, due to the extent of his injuries my dad couldn’t be saved, but it gave me and my family great peace of mind to know the Wales Air Ambulance gave him the best possible chance of survival and that he received expert care almost immediately, meaning he didn’t suffer any pain.
“I’m incredibly proud of what our teams achieved during 2020 Challenge. The money we’ve raised is going to save lives, and help prevent more families going through what mine has – it’s a good feeling.”
The journey began in Monmouth and finished at the Severn Bridge, visiting Gilwern, Pencelli, Brecon, Carmarthen, Pembrey, Llanelli, Swansea, Pontypridd and Cardiff along the way and taking in Kier sites including S4C Ye Egin in Carmarthenshire, Swansea University and Trago Mills in Merthyr Tydfil.
Employees showed their support by hiking, horse riding, roller blading, space-hopping, tobogganing, canoeing, kayaking, cycling, running, sailing and swimming across 280 miles, visiting Kier sites along the way.
Jason Taylor, operations director, Kier Construction Western & Wales, said:
“The Wales leg of the 2020 Challenge has been a great success, with not a single motor engine in sight over 280 miles. Everyone in the team got involved in some way, supporting local charities Velindre Cancer Care and Wales Air Ambulance, both of which are close to the heart of a number of our employees.
“The funds we’ve raised will help our chosen charities continue their vital work and we are very grateful to everyone who has supported our fundraising efforts so far.”
Mark Stevens, fundraising manager at Wales Air Ambulance said:
“We are delighted to be associated with Kier’s 2020 Challenge and we’re looking forward to being involved with such a large scale charity event that will have a positive influence on people’s lives.
“Without the support from companies like Kier, we would not be able to keep our helicopters flying.”
Andrew Morris, Head of Fundraising at Velindre Cancer Care, said:
“We are absolutely delighted to be one of the charities chosen by Kier for their epic 2020 challenge. This is quite fitting because by 2020, 1 in 2 people will be affected by cancer. The money raised for Velindre enables us to offer better support and treatment.
“We wish everybody at Kier the best of luck with their challenge.”
Councillor Emlyn Dole, who joined the team in Carmarthen, said:
“What a pleasure it was to welcome the Kier 2020 Challenge team to the Egin site here in Carmarthen on Wednesday, 5th July. The achievement for the team that day was magnificent, cycling the 70+ miles from Brecon to Carmarthen, but of course it was one part of one leg of a much larger challenge across the whole of the UK.
“They were of course arriving at their site as the chosen contractors for the Egin development. It was great to be there to see the progress on site and one can’t help but notice the meticulousness of the site and the management reflects the values that all at Kier represent. To welcome them as cyclists was an honour for us in Carmarthen with our ambition both around active travel and to become the cycling capital of Wales.”