Isle of Man News - POSTED Thu 21-06-2012

M&S Douglas employee gears up for £1M charity cycle challenge

by Lisa Corkish

M&S Douglas employee gears up for £1M charity cycle challenge

On Saturday 30th June, 600 Marks & Spencer employees will take part in the 'Bike 400 Cycle Challenge' at the Prodrive Race Track in Kenilworth, Warwickshire. The ‘Le Mans’ inspired 24 hour endurance event will see employees competing in teams of four, with each cyclist individually peddling for six hours and covering 100 miles around the track.


Owen Jones from the M&S Douglas store will be participating in the challenge which aims to help M&S raise over £1 million for Action Cancer (NI), Marie Keating Foundation (ROI) and Breakthrough Breast Cancer (GB).


In support of the challenge, a host of fundraising activities will be taking place at all M&S’ Irish and UK stores from 1st June to 31st August 2012. Employees at the Douglas store will kick off their fundraising efforts with a series of events including bag packing, a dress down day, cake bake and in-store staff cyclothon.


Customers can also make donations online via the Just Giving page which contains further details on the fundraising, as well as links to sponsor the cyclists.


The unique fundraising event, which will raise crucial funds for these three leading cancer charities, is being supported by Zoe Salmon, Ronan Keating and Gaby Roslin.


Patron of Action Cancer, Zoe Salmon said: “I am truly impressed to hear about the recent ‘Bike 400 Cycle Challenge’.  I’m sure there will be many minutes during the 24 hour cycle that seem like hours, and many hours that seem like days.  However, I would like to thank the participants and stores on this gruelling physical and fundraising challenge.  I know that Action Cancer is extremely grateful on behalf of their service users, for the lives that they will be able to save, and the families they will support through a cancer journey”.


Speaking about the challenge, Ronan Keating, co-founder of the Marie Keating Foundation said: “My family and I set up the Marie Keating Foundation after we lost our mother to cancer 14 years ago. I certainly never thought I would undertake challenges such as climbing Mount Kilimanjaro or swimming the Irish Sea, all in the name of cancer awareness, and I am sure none of the M&S staff thought they would get on a bike for 24 hours to do the same.  All I can say is a huge thank you to everyone involved and to M&S for supporting us over the past 10 years.”  


Gaby Roslin, patron of Breakthrough Breast Cancer, commented: “Marks & Spencer has been a key supporter of Breakthrough Breast Cancer for over 10 years. As a long-term supporter of Breakthrough myself, I am thrilled to be supporting M&S Bike 400 Cycle Challenge. The money raised from this incredible challenge will make a huge difference; helping to save the lives of the 48,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK each year.”


Kenny Marshall Store Manager at M&S Douglas said: “The Bike 400 Cycle Challenge is going to be incredibly tough so we really wanted to support the team’s efforts by helping them to hit the £1 million target. We’ll be behind them every mile of the challenge as we organise a series of events to raise as much as we can for these three worthwhile charities.”

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