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Big-hearted BT staff from Solihull and Birmingham are stepping out on 100-mile hike to answer charity call

Press release   •   Sep 20, 2017 17:30 BST

BT's Jenny Akers on a training walk

Big-hearted BT employees from Birmingham and Solihull are swapping their offices for a 100-mile hike along the Offa’s Dyke Path – but it’s all for a great cause.

Jenny Akers, from Solihull, and Nick Lake, from Sutton Coldfield, are part of a team of 10 colleagues who are tackling the trek in a bid to raise £30,000 for Stand Up To Cancer.

They will be setting off from Prestatyn in North Wales on Monday, September 25, and walking part of the historic Offa’s Dyke trail which marks the border between England and Wales.

Their five-day challenge will finish in Knighton, in Powys, mid-Wales, on Friday, September 29.

Jenny and Nick will be teaming up with colleagues from around the country, from as far afield as Glasgow and London, with other staff joining them daily for different stages of the walk.

Most of them have been affected by cancer in some way.

They all work for BT’s Business and Public Sector division, which provides national sales and account management to large and medium-sized organisations around the UK.

Jenny, a business development manager, who lives and works in Solihull, said: “I’ve seen a number of family members and close family friends lose their battle with cancer. So I’m walking in support of Stand Up To Cancer to help raise money for vital research into the disease.

“Having never owned a pair of hiking boots before June, I’m looking forward to the sense of achievement from completing the walk, and burning a few calories and extra pounds along the way as I raise money for this great cause.”

Nick, a corporate sales director, said: “Earlier this year we lost a colleague to cancer and getting behind this challenge has enabled us to focus on doing something positive to help other people fighting their own battles.”

The sponsored walk is one of two major fundraising events organised by BT staff that week, which they hope will raise a total of £80,000 for Stand Up To Cancer.

Twenty-four hours after the walkers take their first steps, around 130 miles away in Solihull, more than 100 BT colleagues will be getting on their bikes to tackle a 175-mile round trip.

They will be setting off from BT’s offices at Birmingham Business Park on the morning of Tuesday, September 26, for the ride through the picturesque Cotswolds, which will take in Cheltenham and Oxford before returning to Solihull.

Dubbed the Tour de BT 2017, participants of all ages and abilities will be taking part in the three-day cycle ride.

They include Steve Mingo, a senior product manager, from Dorridge, who has warmed up for the event by completing a 60-mile bike ride for the British Heart Foundation.

He said: “I enjoyed that experience so was keen to take part in this event. I’m sure most of us have known or heard of someone who has been affected by cancer. I’m relishing completing this bike ride whilst raising money for such a good cause.”

Anyone interested in supporting them can do so via either of the following links:

https://mydonate.bt.com/teams/tourdebt2017

https://mydonate.bt.com/teams/btcorporatealongwalk2017

Rachel Carr, head of Stand Up To Cancer, said: “We’d like to thank all at BT for taking part in this incredible event, trekking or cycling up to 175 miles across the country. It’s this kind of support and energy that we need to help take cancer down. We’ve made amazing progress in the fight against cancer over the last few decades, but one in two of us will still develop cancer in our lifetime, so we really can’t afford to stand still. This is why supporting Stand Up To Cancer is so important. All the money raised will go towards funding vital research to get game-changing treatments to patients faster and save lives.”

It’s the second year running BT staff have organised a sponsored walk and cycle ride. Similar events last year raised around £70,000 for BBC Children in Need.

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Issued by the BT regional press office. For more information please contact Emma Tennant on 0800 085 0660 or email: emma.tennant@bt.com Twitter: @EmmaTennantBT

All BT news releases can be accessed via: www.btplc.com/news/

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BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world. It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed-mobile products and services.BT consists of six customer-facing lines of business: Consumer, EE, Business and Public Sector, Global Services, Wholesale and Ventures, and Openreach.

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For more information, visit www.btplc.com

About Stand Up To Cancer (UK):

  • Stand Up To Cancer is a joint national fundraising campaign from Cancer Research UK and Channel 4
  • The campaign returns this autumn with a variety of fundraising activities and a series of special programming on Channel 4
  • Launched in the UK in 2012, Stand Up To Cancer funds game-changing research that accelerates new cancer treatments and tests to UK patients to ultimately save more lives
  • More than £38 million has been raised in the UK to date and over 40 trials and projects have been funded, that will involve more than 10,000 cancer patients
  • Current research projects include the development of the ‘chemo package’ to deliver treatment at the best time for the patient; testing arsenic as a weapon to make cancer implode; using viruses to seek and destroy cancer cells while boosting the immune system, and much, much more!
  • Stand Up To Cancer is supported by a host of the biggest and brightest stars including Davina McCall, Alan Carr, Edith Bowman, James Morrison, Kirstie Allsopp, Melanie C and Kimberley Wyatt, Naomi Campbell, Noel Gallagher, Nicole Scherzinger, Pharrell Williams, Tom Hardy, Gillian Anderson, Britney Spears, Idris Elba, Andy Murray, Bradley Cooper, Taylor Swift, Martin Freeman, Jamie Oliver, Kathy Burke, Miranda Hart, Paul O’Grady, Richard Ayoade, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jack O’Connell, Lily James, Rosamund Pike, Sophie Turner, Stephen Graham, Toby Jones and Will Poulter.

To find out more about fundraising activities visit Standuptocancer.org.uk or channel4.co.uk/SU2C or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram