Charities to be given boost from new Leyland Trucks fundraiser

A one-off charity initiative has been launched in Lancashire 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 GBP16,000, has been cancelled for the first time since it started. Yet to ensure local charities aren't impacted further by the effects of COVID-19 on the not-for-profit sector, Leyland Trucks has launched Factory to Festival (FTF) Miles Better Together - a fortnight-long, safe and socially-distanced fundraising event.

Set to take place between Saturday 25th July and Sunday 9nd August - during the factory's annual shutdown period - the event will see Leyland Trucks' team, their families and friends grab their bikes, running shoes or walking boots to collectively cover as many miles as physically possible to contribute to a target of 2,800 miles - the distance you would cover if you were to visit DAF's main European operations. 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 the lockdown restrictions saw fundraising events grind to a halt, we too had to make the difficult and extremely sad decision to cancel this year's Factory to Festival bike ride. But we cannot just place our social value agenda on pause. "Our Helping Hand charity has donated more than GBP1m 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 golf challenge, or even a cycle route that tackles some of Lancashire's most notorious climbs and descents, our team of walkers, cyclists, golfers, runners and triathletes 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."

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.

Helping Hand is a non-profit organisation run by a dedicated committee of Leyland Trucks and PACCAR Parts employees. Founded in 1994 by a group of enthusiastic workers who wanted to help disadvantaged employees and local causes, the charity last year celebrated its 25th year anniversary. The yearly Factory to Festival fundraiser forms a key part of the Leyland Festival schedule each year.

Dating back more than 150 years, generations of local families have grown up with the festival, with its legacy continuing to attract the support and involvement of local people, organisations, schools, community groups and more.

2020 marks the only time the festival has been cancelled.

You may also like...