Learning Curve Group skill centre manager Neil McCluskey is setting his sights on an epic challenge to support our charity of the year fundraising appeal.
The former Army sergeant plans to cycle and run 47 miles, from Sheffield to Leeds via Wakefield, on Friday, October 6.
He will do so in a bid to raise at least £750 through sponsorship for the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS), which is our chosen charity for 2017.
Neil, who manages our Leeds Skill Centre which trains people for careers in the armed and uniformed services, hopes to complete his mission in under four hours.
His challenge is among a series being undertaken for the appeal, which has a £10,000 target.
Employees having already completed a half marathon, a 66-mile bike ride in London, and other events.
Further activities include our themed Vegas Nights charity ball, which takes place on Friday, September 15, at Hardwick Hall, near Sedgefield, Co Durham, tickets for which are available.
Neil, who can be sponsored at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/neil-mccluskey24, said: “Every year, I set myself a new challenge – I’ve never tried this one before and it seemed like the right time to do it.
“I’m reasonably fit, but this will definitely be a difficult route to conquer, although I am confident I will complete it.
“It will be physically and mentally demanding, but I know it is in aid of a great cause, and that will drive me on.
“I can think of no better charity to support, and I hope people will get behind me and sponsor this fantastic challenge.”
Neil, who served in Iraq, Kosovo, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan with the Rifles regiment, has named his challenge the ‘Tour de Skill Centres’ because he will start at, pass through or finish at each of our three Yorkshire Skill Centres.
He plans to complete stage one – from our Manor Top Army Reserve Centre base in Hurlfield Road, Sheffield, to the Army Reserve Centre, in George Street, Wakefield – in under two hours.
He will then run 12.1 miles to our Leeds Skill Centre at Harewood Barracks, Army Reserve Centre, in Skinner Lane.
Chief executive Brenda McLeish said: “Neil is dedicated to helping others, and this challenge is typical of him.
“He is very fit and undoubtedly possesses the mental strength to complete this very tough individual challenge.
“The work of the Great North Air Ambulance Service is incredibly important, and I hope Neil is supported by the public to exceed his target amount.”
Ben McWilliams, of GNAAS, added: “We are very grateful for the support we are receiving overall from Learning Curve Group and to Neil for his challenge.
“We rely on the support of the public to survive, and it is wonderful that Neil is willing to go over and beyond in his support for us.
“I am sure he will be successful and I hope people will back him through sponsorship every step of the way.”
Our employees chose to support the GNAAS as our charity of the year following a vote.
They were highly impressed by the work of the GNAAS, which operates three air ambulance helicopters across the North-East, North Yorkshire and Cumbria, bringing pioneering pre-hospital care to the scene of accidents.
Its crews respond to around 1,000 call outs each year and on board the aircraft are specialist trauma doctors and paramedics.
Our Vegas Nights charity ball is sponsored by key partner, NCFE, and Scholars School System, and is being compered by Heart FM DJ, Justin Lockwood.
The ball features live music from Audio Cover and saxophonist Daniel Johnson, a three-course meal and casino tables, and dance performances from glamourous showgirls.
Tickets are priced at £65, or £600 for 10, and can be booked by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling Chloe Robinson on 01388 777 129.
More information on the GNAAS is available at www.greatnorthairambulance.co.uk.