Two members of H&H Group Plc have taken on the challenge of completing the Great North Run in aid of the Great North Air Ambulance.
As part of the company’s ongoing initiatives to raise a significant amount of money for their “charity of the year” the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS), Chief Executive, Richard Rankin, and Ian Bicket, Senior Management Accountant, are taking on the exhausting, Great North Run’s 13.1 miles challenge. The Great North Run is taking place on 12th September 2021 and Richard and Ian will have competition from around 56,998 other runners, all completing the run, many of them for their own charitable causes.
This year, 2021, marks the 40th anniversary of Newcastle’s now world-famous half marathon, which first took place in June 1981 with 12,264 starters. This year a few changes have been made to the course to help ensure an element of Covid safety, and understandably, there is great excitement that the race can actually be run again!
When asked how the training was going Richard told us: “As is the case with many people, I did a lot of running throughout lockdown and was feeling confident until my knee decided to create some last-minute uncertainty by damaging a ligament during a run. However, it’s such a fantastic event for a great cause that I’ll be on the start line ready to run, shuffle or limp the new route. I’m also pleased that they are able to run it this year, after having to put last year’s on hold, as it is such a huge fundraiser for so many charities, and we are thrilled to be able to take part for GNAAS.”
Ian said “This is my first half marathon, so I won’t know until the day if I’m ready or not! However, I’m feeling good, and with under a month to go to the event I think I’m feeling ready! With no injuries for me so far I’m feeling confident I can give Richard a run for his money! But internal competition aside, as long as we raise a load more funds for GNAAS we’ll be happy.
H&H have had several initiatives to raise funds for the Great North Air Ambulance Service including the selling of programmes at their Agri Expo event taking place on October 29th in Borderway, Carlisle, the H&H 100 Club, a club lottery giving members of staff a chance to win money in a monthly draw, this totals £3000 a year. Nina Oxley, Group Marketing Manager, completed Race to Base last year, cycling 42 miles per week, the concept being to cover the distance that the GNAAS critical care team fly when returning to one of their bases from Newcastle RVI, the North’s major trauma centre, the RVI to Cumbria airbase is 42 miles. Nina raised a fantastic amount of money for the charity, so all in all H&H have made great team fundraising effort towards a brilliant charity.
Every penny raised from these efforts goes towards enabling the GNAAS critical care team to bring pioneering pre-hospital care to the scene and treat hundreds of severely injured or ill patients every year. The charity is not NHS funded and relies entirely on donations in order to operate. Using a mix of helicopters and rapid response cars, the GNAAS team use their specialist training to deliver world-class care to their patients, often offering lifesaving treatment in doing so. In 2020 the team responded to 1,262 callouts.
In concluding Richard says: “Given the sector and geography we operate in, GNAAS is an absolutely essential service, one which many of our team have had personal experience with, so it is fantastic to be able to give something back and help the GNAAS continue to offer their lifesaving treatment service.”
If you would like to support Richard and Ian in this feat, you can sponsor them at their just giving page at either - https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ian-bicket1 https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Richard-Rankin1