Picture above: John Hewitt after the challenge.
When Glazerite UK Group’s Chairman John Hewitt and a group of friends and family set off on an epic 1,000-mile cycle ride last summer, the team – nicknamed Kelly’s Heroes – were hoping to raise £20,000 for the charity, We Mind & Kelly Matters. Seven months on however and the 12-strong team, who cycled from John O’Groats to Land’s End in just two weeks, have smashed the original target to raise a staggering £130,267.56.
We Mind & Kelly Matters seeks to raise awareness of mental illness and support those affected by suicide and bereavement in Northamptonshire. Generous donations and sponsorship flooded in from across the fenestration industry and beyond, including support from headline sponsor VEKA, as well as All Things Business, Anglo European Group, Benchmark Kitchens and Joinery, Business Micros, Blinds in Glass, Central RPL, Dufeu IT Solutions, Fountains Complimentary Therapies, Grosvenor Group, Glazerite, Haffner, Hevey Building Supplies, Independent Network, HiTech Blinds, Maypine Civils, Mews Windows, Snowdon Homes, Travis Perkins and Transformation for Life.
John has been overwhelmed with the huge support shown by the industry, and says: ”We are immensely grateful to everyone who supported us on the challenge, from the donations and sponsorship through to the well wishes and messages we received on our journey. It shows how big-hearted, caring and generous this industry is.”
Glazerite supplier DOORCO has also thrown its weight behind We Mind & Kelly Matters with a number of initiatives, including its Pink Door campaign. 20% of all door blanks sold from the four-door range, which have been created in Kelly’s favourite colour, are being donated to We Mind & Kelly Matters, with over £350 donated so far. In addition, DOORCO’s founders Jayne and Dan Sullivan’s 12-year-old son Raf has undertaken an incredible fundraising effort in the form of a 117km run and cycle challenge to raise money for We Mind & Kelly Matters. Raf, who has already raised over £10,000, can be sponsored here: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/RafsTriptoWales
John adds: ”We’re so overwhelmed and delighted to have been able to raise so much and to be able to put it all towards educating people on mental health issues and suicide prevention. The money raised means We Mind & Kelly Matters has been able to roll out a number of new services for 2021, including a live text chat service for people in mental health crisis, and community support in Northamptonshire’s schools and workplaces.
“2020 was a tough year for everyone. It’s our aim to help as many people as possible and do as much as we can and it’s thanks to the support we’ve received from the industry and the incredible fundraising efforts of people like Raf Sullivan that we are able to continue to do so.”
We Mind & Kelly Matters has a number of fundraising activities being planned for 2021 and 2022, with John adding: “We’ve got some amazing events coming up including a World Record attempt, so watch this space!”
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