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Big-hearted BT staff Stand Up To Cancer

Press release   •   Sep 28, 2017 10:00 BST

BT engineer Alec McKinnon from Inverness sets off on the 175-mile cycle challenge for SU2C

Big-hearted BT staff from Inverness, Thurso and Glasgow swapped their offices for the open road this week – all for a wheelie good cause.

BT engineer Alec McKinnon from Inverness and helpdesk analyst Tim Ellis from Thurso are among a 100-strong team of employees cycling around 175 miles over three days to raise money for Stand Up To Cancer. They left BT’s offices in Solihull on Tuesday and will complete their cycle to Oxford, through the Cotswolds and back to Birmingham today (Thursday).

Around 130 miles away, 10 other colleagues, including Glasgow HR manager Alison Brice and George Barr, head of service design and strategy, will be tackling a 100-mile trek along part of the historic Offa’s Dyke path, which marks the boundary between England and Wales, ending in Powys tomorrow (Friday).

The fund-raisers, who hope to raise £80,000 for Stand Up To Cancer, 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.

Alec, a keen cyclist who warmed up for the ride by taking part in the amateur stages of the Tour De France this summer, is hoping that the cycle will be a little less painful than his last SU2C challenge – a bout in the boxing ring after eight weeks of training last year!

The dad-to-be – whose wife Rita is expecting their first child in November – said: “When the opportunity came up to take part in the challenge I jumped at it. It’s a chance to meet colleagues from all over the UK who share my love of cycling, while getting fit and raising money for a really worthwhile charity.”

Tim, who only took up cycling in his early 40s and now clocks up around 100 miles a week, has raised more than £2500 in sponsorship for SU2C. He said: “This cycle is quite a challenge but it’s for a fantastic cause. It also means I get to meet colleagues I usually only work with remotely – but I’m not looking forward to the aching muscles at the end!”

Tim is also planning to complete a 108-mile cycle between Alness and Thurso with BT colleagues early next month in aid of the Highland Hospice.

Anyone interested in supporting the fundraisers can do so at:

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.

About BT

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.

For the year ended 31 March 2017, BT Group’s reported revenue was £24,062m with reported profit before taxation of £2,354m.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

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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 or or on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram