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Ride of Britain 2014

Four of our employees are taking part in the Ride of Britain 2014 - 500 miles from Edinburgh to London in 5 days - to support SSAFA, one of our partner charities

A cycling adventure that makes a difference

To raise money to support SSAFA's work with our Armed Forces past and present, four of our employees, Dean, Ken, Louise and Dave, are leaving their day jobs behind to meet the Ride of Britain 2014 challenge
SSAFA Ride of Britain 2014 video

500 miles in 5 days from Edinburgh to London following the Tour de France 2014 British route in the virtual saddle of Olympic heroes Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins. The team have been training for this ultimate test of stamina and determination and are hoping to raise £6,000 to support SSAFA. Everyone who takes part in the Ride of Britain helps them to continue their vital work with the Forces family.

Ride of Britain 2014 route
Ride of Britain 2014 route

Track the team in realtime and view photos, video and commentary from them along the route:

Who are SSAFA?

SSAFA logo
SSAFA logo

SSAFA is a charity that provides lifelong support for our Forces and their families. SSAFA have been supporting the British Armed Forces family since 1885 and continues to provide practical, emotional and financial support to anyone who is serving or has ever served.

Meet the team

SSAFA ride of Britain - team
SSAFA ride of Britain - team

Dean

Dean Clarke ride of britain pic

How did you first hear about the Ride of Britain 2014?

I knew about it from supporting the online promotional campaign last year. Also the team made sure I was fully aware of this year’s ride and that I had everything I needed to sign up!

What inspired you to take part in the challenge?

I have been on a health kick for the last 5 months (losing over 4 stone) and this is a great opportunity to push myself further and do something worthwhile which I can be proud of

500 miles in 5 days sounds like a tough challenge. How are you preparing for it?

Well I'd never sat on a road bike prior to 4 weeks before the start but I am a keen mountain biker, how hard can it be! My motto is ‘death before DNF’ in anything I do

You are aiming to raise £1300 for SSAFA. Do you have any connections with SSAFA? Why do you want to support this charity?

I have family in the armed forces and it’s hard not to feel connected working for BAE Systems. They do provide invaluable and practical support to true heroes

Our Community Investment brand is ‘together’. What does ‘together’ mean to you?

‘Together’ is about leaving what does not matter behind and coming together to work for a common goal. I first experienced it when I took part in the Army Command Challenge with my team as part of Armed Forces day. Although we work together every day I have never experienced us work ‘together’ like that before. The Army Sergeant agreed saying he had never seen a team of civvies perform as a team as well as we did.

How do you need people to support you?

Well I need to raise £1300 which is worrying me more than the ride itself so if you can sacrifice that bottle of wine you had planned on getting and wing me over the money instead I’d be much obliged. Secondly, I will be blogging and tweeting on-route for the team so keep in touch and let us all know you’re behind us

 

Ken

How did you first hear about the Ride of Britain 2014?

From my colleague Tom Rogers who completed the challenge last year

What inspired you to take part in the challenge?

Tom Rogers’ account of his adventure in 2013 and his advice and encouragement that I would be sufficiently fit to complete it

500 miles in 5 days sounds like a tough challenge. How are you preparing for it?

Fortunately, I cycle a lot anyway and take part regularly in organised day events (Sportives) so I have a basic level of fitness. The Ride Of Britain is however a challenge on a completely different scale even compared with the Marie Curie Pennines Etape I completed in July. Apart from sitting in the saddle for around 8 hours each day which I haven’t done before, the main difference will be not having the day after each long stage to recover. To  prepare, I am doing some long rides, and also making sure I get some road time on consecutive days. I will also try to lose a bit of weight since at 95kg (without the bike), I am quite heavy for a cyclist, especially for climbing hills. No more beer, chocolate or SODEXO puddings for a few weeks!

You are aiming to raise £1300 for SSAFA. Do you have any connections with SSAFA? Why do you want to support this charity?

SSAFA is one of the main charities supported by my company BAE Systems. As a provider of defence equipment and services we have strong connections with the military and I am very proud to represent my company and assist our servicemen and women, veterans and their families by taking part in this cycle challenge

Our Community Investment brand is ‘together’. What does ‘together’ mean to you?

For me this is about the interdependency between, the company, the local community and other communities wherever our products are made and used. What we do and how we do it has a huge impact on people’s lives, their security, employment and the economy and I am very pleased to be part of an organisation that supports, and that reaches out to the wider society

How do you need employees to support you?

Simple, by digging deep and contributing what they can, however small, to our team by way of direct donations and by taking part in the forthcoming raffle, fitness centre challenge, bake-off and other similar events. Some of us also have personal fundraising websites where contributions can be made. It’s easy to forget or overlook but some simple words of encouragement can be a great motivation especially if you can remember them when exhausted and cold with the rain hitting your face with  4 hours still to go till the end of the day.

 

Dave

How did you first hear about the Ride of Britain 2014?

An RAF colleague drew my attention to it.  He was desperate to do it with someone, I agreed, then he backed out! For service reasons I hasten to add. What inspired you to take part in the challenge?

I'm an ex Serviceman and have seen first hand the amazing work the charity SSAFA do.  My father was wounded during WW2, he was helped by the charity.  Sounds corny, but great to give a tiny bit back and have a great adventure at the same time, no brainer!

500 miles in 5 days sounds like a tough challenge. How are you preparing for it?

Not much I'm afraid to say.  Juggling family commitments with training has proved to be a disaster, however, I have a reasonable level of fitness, cycle regularly to work and back, (32 miles)

You are aiming to raise £1300 for SSAFA. Do you have any connections with SSAFA? Why do you want to support this charity?

I'm an ex Serviceman and have seen first hand the amazing work the charity SSAFA do.  My father was wounded during WW2, he was helped by the charity.  Sounds corny, but great to give a tiny bit back and have a great adventure at the same time, no brainer!

Our Community Investment brand is ‘together’. What does ‘together’ mean to you?

As the armed forces are a huge BAE Systems customer, I think it's imperative that we have a healthy relationship with them. Working together etc.

How do you need employees to support you?

Sponsorship!

 

Louise

Louise ride of britain pic How did you first hear about the Ride of Britain 2014?

I remembered Tom doing it last year and met with SSAFA as they are one of our relationship charities.

What inspired you to take part in the challenge?

Tom’s account was really interesting and I was looking for a new challenge -  I am no experienced cyclist by any stretch of the imagination! Within my role as Head of Group Community Investment I think it’s important we show our support for such charities. It has to be more than the company making a donation, we need our employees to really get involved.

500 miles in 5 days sounds like a tough challenge. How are you preparing for it?

I’ve upped my regular workout and focusing on a lot of spinning classes, and getting out on my bike – longer rides on both days of the weekend as we get closer to the ride. I don’t think you ever feel prepared for challenges like these!

You are aiming to raise £1300 for SSAFA. Do you have any connections with SSAFA? Why do you want to support this charity?

I personally think SSAFA is a great charity and they do amazing work for our forces and their families. What I like about them is they focus on those who are serving, whose who have served and their families. Their approach is all about welfare of the armed forces, and not just on those who have been injured etc. Both my late dad and my husband served in the army and I have seen first-hand the great work SSAFA does.

Our Community Investment brand is ‘together’. What does ‘together’ mean to you?

Together is about giving employees an identity for our employee fundraising and volunteering activities.  For me it encompasses a sense of teamwork and supporting others and provides an opportunity to highlight the amazing work our employees do for our partner charities.

How do you need employees to support you?

Get involved in any of the organised activities, and generally support the excellent work SSAFA does. Think about how you can support our relationship charities, and talk to your CI leads within the business if you have any ideas.

Show your support

In 2012 Highlander Craig Paterson completed the Ride of Britain just over 12 months after he was shot in the head whilst serving in Afghanistan. SSAFA have supported him and his family throughout his treatment and provided accommodation at one of their facilities

Sponsor the team

  

Making a difference together

We support and encourage all employee driven charitable fundraising and volunteering activities across the world with the aim of helping national causes and contributing positively to the communities around us

Through our Community Investment programme we work together with local and national organisations to align our resources and help make a real difference.

As BAE Systems is a diverse, global company, each of our home markets has created its own strategy for Community Investment which supports the global strategy but is relevant to lines of business, charitable needs and culture in the communities that we support. This means that we are able to do great work supporting many different charities.