13th July 2016

King Canute couldn’t manage it but a group of hardy volunteers from Newcastle-based accountancy and advisory firm UNW set their best feet first against the North Sea and beat the tide in a fantastic fundraising effort this weekend!

Twenty brave souls from the team at UNW took part on Saturday, riding almost 80 miles from St Mary’s Lighthouse to Holy Island in support of their new nominated charity for 2016.

Having recently raised a considerable sum for another local charity, Caring Hands in Shieldfield, UNW had chosen to raise funds for a Gosforth based organisation, Smile for Life and recently became the charity’s first corporate supporter for 2016 after staff voted it as their charity of the year.

Michael Morris, Audit Partner at UNW commented: ‘The work that Smile for Life do is so important and the sheer dedication shown by its team in their efforts to improve the lives of disadvantaged and disabled children living in the North East are remarkable. We wanted to support Smile for Life and help them make a difference.’

‘It was a daunting first challenge, some of the team are keen riders but most hadn’t even seen a pedal bike for a good few years. But a great team spirit and encouragement from our support team and members of the public spurred us on. Largely thanks to an industrial volume of jelly babies and the threat of the tide stopping us in our tracks, we made it to the causeway and our destination before the sea beat us to it. I’d like to thank Start Fitness, Newcastle for their generous donation of cycling wear and nutrition for the team.’

Smile for Life is a charitable organisation dedicated to enhancing and enriching the lives of disadvantaged and disabled children who may be unable to get all the funding they require from the larger national charities and other organisations. They provide specialist equipment, short breaks and experiences along with their invaluable work experience at their Café Beam in Gosforth.

UNW aim to raise over £5,000 for the charity through this sponsored bike ride and hopes to raise much more money during the rest of the year with other events and activities, including a number of smaller fundraising events in their offices in Citygate in the centre of Newcastle. Each pound donated by colleagues and supporters will be match-funded by UNW.

Paula Gascoigne, Chief Executive at Smile for Life commented; ‘We’re absolutely delighted that UNW have chosen Smile for Life as their new corporate charity and we were particularly impressed that one of the first events involved such a demanding challenge! It was a brilliant day and they raised much-needed funds to help us continue our work, helping many of the North East’s children who have disabilities or special needs to reach their full potential and live easier and happier lives. We’re really looking forward to working closely everyone at UNW in the coming months.

UNW’s Charity Cycle Challenge 2016 Just Giving Page:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/UNW-LLP1

Photo: Front, l-r: Rajan and Anjali Malhotra, Marjorie Ridgway / Back, l-r: Alan Suggett, Karen Simms, Amanda Maskery, Paul Graham

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