Community Champions

Cyclists complete 160-mile Kenya challenge

Written by Peter Davison.

Lee McGavin and James ForsterTwo quantity surveyors from Swindon-headquartered construction firm Beard have completed a 160-mile office challenge, cycling from the firm’s Guildford Office, to its offices in Oxford, Swindon and Bristol.

The challenge was to raise money for Youth Challenge Oxfordshire (YoCO) and the Nasio Trust.

YoCO is a local charity which supports young people aged 14-21 to develop resilience and confidence so that they can overcome some of the problems they face in their teenage years and early twenties.

Through YoCO, they follow an 18-month guided programme called EXIT7 which helps them overcome seven key challenges which mirror those they face in everyday life such as social media pressure and cyber bullying. They may also volunteer for a life-changing ten-day trip to the Nasio Trust charity in Western Kenya where they help local teachers working with HIV orphans.

Money raised by the Beard cyclists will support young people on the ten-day volunteering trip to help empower communities in Western Kenya, aiming to break the cycle of poverty by providing education, improving health and developing commerce.

Beard quantity surveyors James Forster and Lee McGavin, completed the cycle challenge over two days, cycling through gruelling conditions to reach their goal.

“We’re so proud to be raising money for this amazing group which provides a much-needed support service for young people in the area,” says Beard quantity surveyor, James Forster. “We’re also very grateful for the generosity our local communities have shown in donating money to fund this amazing opportunity for young people to travel to Kenya and support communities in need.

“Since the global HIV epidemic broke out 30 years ago, an estimated 17 million children – 90 percent in sub-Saharan Africa – have lost one or both parents due to AIDS.”

Beard will also sponsor YoCO’s fireworks display on 4 November in Berinsfield which will be a major fundraising event for the charity.

James, Lee and Beard site manager Kieran Tiller, will join YoCO’s young people on their volunteering trip to Kenya in April 2019.

Guy Hannell, Beard regional director, said: “We are all so proud of James and Lee for completing this incredible challenge.

"As part of our commitment to giving back to the community, we are always looking for opportunities to support initiatives which bring real benefits to our local communities.

"I am so pleased that James, Lee and Kieran have led us to support this fantastic charity.”