The SCF team wanted to celebrate the successful launch of its next generation construction framework, as well as the continuation of its framework delivery partnership between Hampshire and Devon County Councils.
They chose a challenging 250-mile bike ride in aid of the Lighthouse Club to mark the framework launch and 17 of them pedalled off from Winchester to Devon on their two-day adventure in brilliant sunshine. The route took them from Hampshire County Council’s offices at The Castle, Winchester in Hampshire, through the New Forest National Park, and then Bournemouth, Purbeck, Dorset and East Devon, on to the final destination of Devon County Hall in Exeter.
The Lighthouse Club charity provides financial and emotional support to the construction community and their families, who have suffered an injury or long-term illness or simply need a helping hand. The SCF team chose to support this charity as the construction industry has some of the worst mental health statistics of any industry.
The group included riders of all cycling abilities from seasoned club riders to newcomers to the sport. This mixture of experience inspired the group to help each other out, work together and share the achievement of completing a challenging route including some very steep climbs!
“I thought the cycle ride was a fantastic way to raise money for the Lighthouse Foundation. I represented ISG, one of the 11 Main Contractors working within the framework, delivering value to the public sector. I am a keen cyclist and enjoyed the route, team spirit and challenge and look forward to many further successful events” – Keith Winter, ISG
The group was supported by a brilliant support team, who provided much appreciated drinks and snacks, often at the top of some of the biggest hills, giving everyone a view with their snack! The team were on hand with mechanical and first aid support, which thankfully no-one needed. The weather was very changeable, with plenty of rain on the second morning, and so the support van was a welcome sight after a wet and windy climb.
“It was a big challenge, and we couldn’t have done this without our support team. We all needed to take different roles to make the big picture work, and to help one another along the way. The adversity of the weather conditions actually made it all the more worthwhile in the end… no one said this would be easy, and it’s good to be way out of the comfort zone once in a while! We were met with a so much encouragement along the route, it was nice to meet people and to raise awareness for the Lighthouse Club and to highlight the need to focus on mental wellbeing in construction.”
Justin Bennetts – Devon CC
The group enjoyed some of the finest countryside southern England has to offer, from wild ponies in the New Forest and golden beaches in Bournemouth, to the rugged coastlines and stunning clifftop scenery of the Dorset and Devon coastlines. The 250km route allowed plenty of time for the riders to share stories and experiences both on and off the bike, an opportunity to appreciate difference perspectives in the construction industry.
“It was a great opportunity to ride a brilliant route, with good support, and good company!”
Lawrence Wright, Wilmott Dixon
The riders reached Devon County Hall to a warm reception from staff and a well appreciated buffet. Within minutes of the last riders arriving and moving inside, the rain came in again and everyone was glad they had kept pedalling fast enough to avoid the wet weather.
Over £6,000 was raised for the Lighthouse Club via this unique and challenging ride, and some new and lasting friends were made too.