Leyland Trucks launch virtual fundraiser to replace cancelled event

Posted on - 26th June, 2020 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Charities, Preston News, Sport, What's On in Preston
Factory of Festival 2019.
Factory to Festival 2019.

A one-off charity initiative has been launched in Leyland to replace the fourth Factory to Festival charity bike ride, which is cancelled this year due to COVID-19.

Leyland Trucks’ annual Helping Hand event, which last year saw more than 110 cyclists cover 8,000 miles to raise more than £16,000, has been cancelled for the first time since it started.

Instead Leyland Trucks has launched Factory to Festival (FTF) Miles Better Together – a fortnight-long, safe and socially-distanced fundraising event.

Taking place between Saturday 25 July – Sunday 9 August, the event will see the Leyland Trucks’ team, their families, and friends grab their bikes, running shoes or walking boots to collectively cover a target of 2,800 miles.

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Leyland Trucks prototype manager and Helping Hand committee member, Stuart Derbyshire, said: “COVID-19 has brought about a seismic shift in our personal, professional and social lives that we have never seen before, and will hopefully never see again in our lifetime.

“Few industries have been as touched by the effects of the coronavirus as the charity sector; many worthy causes are facing undeniable hardship and need urgent financial help.

“As lockdown saw fundraising events grind to a halt, we had to make the difficult decision to cancel this year’s FTF bike ride.

The Factory to Festival event in 2019
The Factory to Festival event in 2019

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“Our Helping Hand charity has donated more than £1m to local causes to date and we want to continue adding to that.

“FTF Miles Better Together will ensure our fundraising efforts aren’t put on pause and gives our team and their loved ones a great reason to keep fit during the summer.

“Whether it’s a daily dog walk, half marathon, or even a cycle route that tackles some of Lancashire’s most notorious climbs and descents, our team are ready and raring to go.

“Any donation towards their cause, big or small, will go a long way in ensuring Helping Hand can continue to improve the lives of those in our community.”

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Leyland Trucks has carefully selected the charities which will benefit from the FTF Miles Better Together challenge, as thank you to those that have delivered vital front line and care services throughout COVID-19.

Donations from the event will be provided to St Catherine’s Hospice, The Ambulance Service Charity and other NHS front line charities.

FTF Miles Better Together has already attracted the support of a number of sponsors, with Made Profiles, Pailton Engineering, KP Industries, Essential Industrial Services, Brigade Electronics and Schneider Electric, each pledging a donation.

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Helping Hand is a non-profit organisation run by a dedicated committee of Leyland Trucks and PACCAR Parts employees. 

The yearly Factory to Festival fundraiser forms a key part of the Leyland Festival schedule each year.

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Will you be taking in the FTF Miles Better Together Challenge? Tell us in the comments below.

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