Taking the high road
Leading figures in the industry recently took part in a 50 km or 100 km cycling event in aid of the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR). There were 18 participants – including ICR’s Pasquale Morese and Workplace360’s Steve Hilleard – who donned lycra cycling kits and set off on the Ride of Life (ROL) through the country lanes of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.
Organised this year by ACCO Brands EMEA Country Manager UK & Ireland David Richardson and Pelltech General Manager Matthew Whelan, the journey was well signposted and supported by ten volunteers. Integra Business Solutions Head of Publications Steve Powell designed the jerseys worn by all riders, while Pelltech Finance Manager Sandra Hastings organised the event finances.
Starting in Bicester on a beautiful sunny day, the majority of cyclists opted for the longer route through the picturesque Cotswolds – 103 km or 64 miles to be exact. It was no easy course, climbing more than 1,200 metres in height. The volunteers supported the cyclists along the route and set up a welcome refreshment stop halfway in stunning Bourton-on-the-Water.
Richardson commented: “Once recovered, feedback from the riders was extremely positive – a great day, with fine weather and good company. The route was mainly on quiet roads, often with amazing views over the Cotswolds countryside.
“The support from the volunteers was much appreciated – especially as I broke my chain after 50 miles and needed to be rescued!”
So far, ROL has raised £12,149 – £8,349 from the JustGiving platform; £2,000 from Workplace360’s parent company OPI; and £1,800 courtesy of Hamelin Managing Director Philip Beer.
A memorable evening
The Society of Old Friends returned to one of its favourite and most prestigious venues, The RAF Club in Piccadilly, London, for the 2023 Spring Guest Night. Almost 70 Old Friends and guests met in the Churchill Bar for a Champagne reception before heading for dinner in the Sovereign Room.
The guest speaker for the evening was Beth Tweddle MBE, Britain’s greatest-ever female gymnast who has won major competitions worldwide, including over 20 gold medals. Her speech was peppered with humour but was, first and foremost, inspirational.
Despite success at numerous Commonwealth Games and World Championships, an Olympic medal was elusive for a long time. Having narrowly missed out at Athens (2004) and Beijing (2008), the latter by just 0.025 of a point, she delayed retirement to try once more at the London 2012 Olympic Games. This time she succeeded – securing a bronze medal in front of a home audience.
The Society of Old Friends President John Logan said: “It was another great evening. The atmosphere was terrific, the food, wine and service were excellent and the company outstanding.”