A Lancashire business has demonstrated that it will always go the extra mile for charity -even when faced with a global pandemic and tough weather conditions.
This weekend, staff from the Colne-based GGM Group completed their annual fundraising walk with a difference – taking on a specifically adapted route to adhere to social distancing guidelines, while raising over £3000 for Greenfingers Charity and two local hospice charities.
Managing Director Chris Gibson and his team travelled from his home-town of Lancaster to the businesses’ head office in Colne and then back again, covering a distance of approximately 100 miles - through a combination of cycling and walking. The walking element, which covered over 80,000 steps, covered the Lancashire Witches Walk which passes through the Forest of Pendle and the Forest of Bowland to finish at Lancaster Castle. Travelling through blistering temperatures and torrential rain, the team completed their walk on Saturday afternoon, arriving at St John’s Hospice, Lancaster to a hero’s welcome and a well-deserved afternoon tea with a well-earned beer and fizz.
The team had planned to climb the three highest peaks in England as part of the company’s annual charity walking event, and were disappointed to be unable to go ahead as planned. Undeterred, Chris came up with his own ingenious solution.
He explains more:"Last year the GGM team completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks in aid of our company charity, Greenfingers, and we were looking forward to this year’s event.
“As part of the Government’s initiative to get us back to work via walking or cycling, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to continue our fundraising. I chose this route because it was created to mark the 400th anniversary of the trail of the “Lancashire Witches” held at Lancaster Castle and I wanted to recognise the injustice and prejudice of the past and the need continue to fight to remove these from society today. We were able to include several of our team and their families in our efforts, with people undertaking different legs in pairs, to enable social distancing.
The GGM Group consists of two businesses across two depots. PSD Groundscare is the national distributor of specialist landscaping equipment, including AS Motor and Eliet, Koppl and TS Industrie. GGM Groundscare is a specialist supplier of tractors and high-quality professional land-based equipment for commercial and domestic use. Servicing the North West and Yorkshire, it supplies a range of products from leading franchises including Kubota, Baroness and Amazone.
Chris Gibson concluded: “I am hugely proud of what our staff have achieved this weekend. It was teamwork in the truest sense, and we all worked hard to make the event work while adhering to social distancing. The youngest participants were just seven years old and as a family business, and it was fantastic for us all to come together.
We’d like to extend our thanks to Chorley Nissan who loaned us a support vehicle and Lisa and the team at St John’s Hospice who waved us off and then welcomed us back with refreshments.
“It’s a key part of our ethos at The GGM Group to give something back to the local community so for this event we’ve decided to support both St John’s Hospice in Lancaster and Pendleside Hospice in Burnley, as local charities who are desperately in need of funds at this time alongside Greenfingers Charity our nominated company charity.
The GGM Group set a target of £1000 for the event which it has already smashed, with a current total of over £3000. You can still support by donating at https://www.sponsorme.co.uk/scottgrieve/chris-gibsons-cycle-and-walk-challenge.aspx
On behalf of us all at Greenfingers Charity, thank you GGM Groundscare for embarking on and completing this fantastic challenge to support life-limited children, adults and their families.