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M&S kick starts cancer charity fundraising drive
Jul '12
This weekend, 660 Marks & Spencer employees from across the UK and Ireland went the extra mile by cycling 60,000 miles in 24 hours, as part of M&S' biggest charity endurance challenge to date.

The unique fundraising challenge took place at the Prodrive Race Track in Kenilworth, Warwickshire and saw M&S employees take part in a ‘Le Mans' inspired 24 hour endurance event. Over 550 employees competed in teams of four, with each cyclist individually peddling for six hours to cover approximately 100 miles around the track.

In addition to the teams, four dedicated M&S cycling enthusiasts competed for the whole 24 hour challenge as solo cyclists, covering a staggering 900 miles.

Over the gruelling 24 hour challenge more than 5 million calories were burnt, 7,000 litres of water were drunk, and over 100 punctures were fixed, with one rider picking up six punctures alone.

With each team successfully crossing the finishing line, M&S' target to raise over £1million for three leading cancer charities is firmly on track. Over £544,000 has been raised to date in support of Breakthrough Breast Cancer (GB), Action Cancer (NI) and the Marie Keating Foundation (ROI) – with two months of fundraising still to go.

Speaking from the event, Caroline Feraday, British broadcaster and friend of Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said: “M&S has been a key supporter of Breakthrough Breast Cancer for over 10 years. As a supporter of Breakthrough myself, I am thrilled that this ambitious event was such a success. The money raised by the overwhelming efforts of the 600 M&S employees over the weekend will make a huge difference; helping to save the lives of the 48,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK each year.”

Laura Wade-Gery, M&S' Executive Director of Multi-channel, E-commerce, who led one of the 138 teams that took part in the challenge, said: “It was great experience to be part of this challenge and see all the teams really push themselves for such a worthwhile cause. Knowing that the whole of M&S were behind us helped everyone get across that finish line.”

Steve Rowe, Director of Retail at M&S, set his own pedibus challenge for 110 supporters who were not quite fit enough to take part in the whole 24 hour challenge or who hadn't had time to train for the event. Steve commented: “The last 24 hours have been a fantastic achievement but it's not quite over yet! So far we have raised over £544,000 but with two months to go we hope we can really make it a summer to remember and smash our £1million target.”

In support of the main challenge, a host of fundraising activities have been taking place at all M&S' UK and Irish stores since 1st June and will continue through July and August. Customers can make donations in-store or online via the Just Giving page www.justgiving.com/teams/BIKE400EnduranceChallenge which continues to take donations until 31st August.

Marks & Spencer (M&S)

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