Army of fundraisers for Derian

Haines Watts accountants of Leyland who have presented a cheque to Derian House.
Haines Watts accountants of Leyland who have presented a cheque to Derian House.
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A team of cyclists have been so touched by the work of Derian House, that they have signed up for a mammoth 1,750 mile ride against the clock.

The six men from Preston, aged between 40 and 51, who all work at Springfield Fuels Limited in Salwick, and are members of Preston Cycling Club, aim to ride from John O’Groats to Lands End and back again, in 48 hours.

They hope to raise £10,000 to be divided between Derian House and also Brian Hospital in Blackpool - two charities that Springfield champion.

Team member Tim Berry, 51, said: “Back in October 2011, we did a sponsored bike ride from Springfields to Gretna Green and back in a day, a distance of 200 miles, raising £2,500.

“Then we cycled to Derian House and were really moved by what we saw, especially me as a father.

“That’s when we decided to do something bigger to raise more money, and came up with our latest idea.”

The race against time will take place over the weekend of April 27 and 28, which each rider cycling for an hour at a time, throughout the day and night.

The rider will be followed by a minibus containing supplies and the five other resting riders.

Tim added: “It’s going to be difficult, but I’m confident we can do it. The record for someone doing this individually is 44 hours, so we aim to beat that.”

To raise awareness of their challenge, the team will be holding fundraising days in supermarket foyers, cycling on static bikes.

Already more than £2,000 has been raised by four days at Morrisons, Cleveleys and Asda in Fulwood.

The next events are at Booths in Windsor Road, Garstang on February 23, Sainsburys in Flintoff Way, Deepdale, Preston, on March 2 and Morrisons in Squires Gate Lane, Blackpool on March 30.

Tim added: “We’ve been really well supported by the supermarkets in the area, and also by the shoppers.

“It’s amazing how many people want to empty their purses when they know you’re doing something to help a children’s hospice.”

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Retailer Bensons for Bed has also recently got into bed with Derian House, to help raise over £3,000 for the children’s hospice.

Derian was chosen as the firm’s charity of the year 2012, with employees supporting the cause and taking part in a variety of fundraising events throughout the past 12 months.

A group of volunteers from Bensons for Beds’ head office in Accrington, headed up by customer service project advisor, Becky Green, led the fundraising.

The team organised events including a Jubilee vintage-themed tea party, silent auctions, copper collections, Christmas gift stalls, and a couple of budding runners even put on their trainers to complete a marathon.

The money raising initiatives generated £1,622.18 for the charity through sponsorship and sales, which was doubled by managing director, Alan Williams, and financial director, Gary Evans. The company has also donated pillows, mattress protectors and Bonnie Beanie Puppies to Derian House to improve the comfort of patients and their families.

Carine Hodgkiss, marketing directors, said: “Derian House is a charity close to our hearts - it’s an asset to our local community and undertakes incredible work for families in the area.

“Our charity work for the hospice has been very popular with our employees, and has boosted morale and team spirit both in stores and at our head office. We are very proud to have supported Derian House throughout 2012.”

Susie Poppitt, fundraising manager for Derian House said: “This is a tremendous amount of money, and staff at Bensons for Beds have gone all out in their fundraising campaign in support of Derian House.

“We are delighted to have been chosen as the bed retailer’s Charity of the Year, and would like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved in supporting the children and families who depend on the specialist care that Derian House provides”.

Staff at Leyland chartered accountants Haines Watts have also raised £1,264 for the charity.

Victoria Deane, who co-ordinated fundraising activities throughout 2012, said: “We raised money on a weekly basis with a ‘dress down’ or ‘non-uniform’ Friday, held a hamper raffle and placed a collection box on reception.

Most of the money, though, came from the efforts of Mark Croasdale, Mark Tunstall and Richard Carter, three colleagues who bravely agreed to a sponsored leg wax in October.”