Two senior directors of South Yorkshire firm AESSEAL plc will swap their desks for pounding out a triple marathon in three consecutive days.
Chief executive Jonathan Wilkinson and engineering director Stephen Shaw will attempt to walk the 78.6 miles (126.6km) in aid of the world-renowned Sheffield Children’s Hospital – and they hope the public will join them... but only with sponsorship.
Jonothan Wilkinson - AESSEAL CEO
AESSEAL has a strong record of community support, but this is the biggest charity challenge to date. It is the latest of the company’s regular responses to the annual charity fundraising organised by The Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire. This year, the Mistress Cutler’s Challenge has invited businesses to find imaginative ways to raise money for the Children’s Hospital. The two directors hope their phenomenal effort – a first for them – will raise £10,000.
Stephen Shaw - AESSEAL Manufacturing Director
Their trek begins in Solihull, West Midlands, on Friday June 14 and follows the Grand Union Canal, passing through Royal Leamington Spa, Napton Marina and Willowbridge.
The final destination ending all three marathons on the Sunday is the village of Apsley, south-east of Hemel Hempstead. “I’m looking forward to the challenge,” said Jonathan Wilkinson. “I know it’s going to be painful, but this is a great cause. The Children’s Hospital does great work at times of great stress in people’s lives. Every minute of the pain will be well worth the effort!” Stephen Shaw added: “Knowing that the money raised is going to such a worthy cause makes this worthwhile. By donating even a small amount we can all help provide the best possible hospital for children providing world-class care in our region.”
The two are training almost every day, with five-to-ten mile walks either on the treadmill or outdoors. “The blisters have come and gone and the legs are getting stronger,” they said. As if the challenge were not tough enough, they will spend their evenings camping in sites along the way – so their restorative sleep could be quite the opposite. But they will be joined for the final 5.5 miles by Master Cutler Neil MacDonald – former finance director, now non-executive director, at AES Engineering Ltd.
The pair have created an online page set up for sponsorships, enabling easy online donations. To pledge your support, or for more information about the charity, visit: www.justgiving.com/aesseal-3-marathons.