Helping Hand, Leyland Trucks onsite charity is celebrating a record year in 2016, providing more funding to charitable and community projects than ever before. A grand total of almost £50,000 was raised and handed over to around 40 charities this year. Recipients ranged from local hospices, to the North West Air Ambulance Charity and children’s charities such as the Baby Beat Appeal, which works to raise standards in preventative care and foetal well-being at the Sharoe Green Maternity Unit at Royal Preston Hospital. In addition, money was granted to various projects with Macmillan Cancer Support and Marie Curie as well as providing ongoing support for The Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester.
Helping Hand Chairman, Neale Handley said: “It’s been an amazing year for Helping Hand, the committee and I are very grateful for all the support we receive from the Leyland Trucks team and local contributors, without which we’d never be able to help so many worthy causes. 2016 has been a milestone year in so many ways, we’ve seen some really imaginative fundraising as well as meeting some incredibly inspirational people along the way.”
One of the toughest activities undertaken by volunteers in 2016 was a group entry into the North West 2016 Tough Mudder. In total 12 people took part in the 12-mile run through the seriously challenging (and muddy) conditions to raise money for Helping Hand causes. Monies raised went primarily to support hospices in the local area.
Another adrenalin-filled challenge took place at Zip World Velocity in Wales, not only the longest zip line in Europe, but the fastest in the world with speeds in excess of 100mph. All funds raised went towards vital research into Meningitis on behalf of a very special young lady, Sofia Crockett. Sofia was stricken with Meningitis at just two years old, and despite, long months in hospital and several operations, culminating in the amputation of her left leg below the knee, has worked with her family to raise thousands of pounds for research into the disease.
Sofia has also given presentations at schools in the Preston area about the disease and in 2015 at the age of just nine years old became the Meningitis Research Foundations youngest ever Junior Ambassador.
Finally, an event much closer to home saw veteran Leyland Trucks employee Chris Baines 61 challenge new-starter Chris Davis 26 to a time trial competition after discovering a joint love of running. Not content with quietly organising the races, the engineering team stepped in and created a 100m running track as well as a 1500m circuit around the perimeter of the plant. To ensure fair play from all sides employee Marshalls were put at strategic points, while hundreds of employees turned out to watch and donate by guessing the approximate time each would take to complete the courses. While Chris junior eventually won the day, much fun was had and further funds added to the Helping Hand pot.
Neale Handley concluded: “As always we took the opportunity at our recent annual employee Christmas event to announce which charities we’d supported during the year and to thank everyone for their efforts. We then had the pleasure of posting more cheques than ever before to all our causes to ensure each charity received a Christmas present from everyone at Leyland Trucks.”
Leyland Trucks Helping Hand is a non-profit organisation run by a dedicated committee of Leyland Trucks and PACCAR Parts employees. Helping Hand was founded in 1994 by a group of workers who wanted to help disadvantaged employees and local causes, the most important criteria to qualify for support is that there is a local link to every charity supported.