Tuesday 14 July 2020

A group of seven graduates have raised over £1,000 for the Wales Air Ambulance after clocking 182 miles between them.

The team from General Dynamics UK, based in Blackwood, took part in the challenge, which was the distance of a marathon each. They did it as part of their graduate scheme, which encourages them to carry out a community project for a local charity of their choice.

The ‘Quaranteering group’, which consists of Daniel Horwood, 27, Keira Morgan, 23, Crawford Wright, 26, Isabelle Wimble, 23, Euan Davies, 23, Andrius Jarmala, 26 and Sophie Quinn, 22, each covered a total distance of 26 miles through either running, walking or cycling.

Reflecting on the importance of raising funds during the pandemic, Daniel Horwood, said: “We realised that Wales Air Ambulance is a 100 per cent publicly funded charity reliant on donations like ours, and that the lifesaving capability and expertise provided by the charity saves invaluable time in preserving life, no matter where.

“Donations and awareness of this important role played by the Wales Air Ambulance, have no doubt dwindled significantly since the lockdown measure began in late March. Despite this, we wanted to help them remain operational and continue their excellent work, particularly as restrictions are eased and the public venture outside for leisure more and more.”

Some of the team decided to take more of a personal approach to the challenge and set themselves different goals, which included litter picking, climbing the equivalent height of Snowdon and the fastest time to complete the challenge.

They all stayed local and some of them found trails on their doorstep which they never knew were there.

Euan Davies said: “I wanted to personalise the challenge slightly to keep myself engaged. As a result, I ran the majority of the challenge, including a 5km time trial in the boiling midday heat, which was a big mistake, and I also did an hour of litter picking in my local area.

“I’ve enjoyed thinking of how I can subtly personalise the challenge and then push myself to carry out what I planned to do. It’s not just the challenge that I enjoyed though, I have also liked working with my fellow graduate team members to think of ideas, discuss them and then put a plan together which we can all action.”

Whilst litter picking Euan came across a lot of dumped Red Bull cans. He got in touch with the company and expressed his disappointment and explained about his challenge. Red Bull then kindly donated drinks to the Wales Air Ambulance crew.

As part of General Dynamics UK graduate scheme, the graduates are given the opportunity to build links with the local communities in which they operate.

It is a chance for the graduates to undertake personal development, work effectively from home, whilst having fun. Before the challenge, some of the team had never met and the team have found it ‘interesting to put together the event entirely through digital means’.

Speaking on how the team has found the challenge, Daniel added: “We have loved it. We’ve had a really positive response from everyone who the project has reached. It motivated us to complete our challenge and continue our public campaign to obtain as much as people are willing to give.”

Mark Stevens, the Charity’s South Wales Fundraising Manager, said: “We would like to say a huge thank you to thegraduates from General Dynamics UK for joining forces, despite the fact some of them had never met before, to raise £1,127. I hope all of you enjoyed the challenge and good luck for the future.

“Each year, Wales Air Ambulance attends approximately 2,500 missions. The amount raised by the group will allow us to continue our lifesaving work across Wales.”

You can show your appreciation to the team by donating via their Go fund Me page - Quaranteering, Walking Wales for our Air Ambulance here.