Mountain peaks and skydives all in a day’s work in support of Bradford-based charity, ‘One in a Million’

As part of its ongoing support for local charities, seven members of staff from Yorkshire business telecoms provider, Intouch Advance, took part in a series of adrenaline-pumping and physically demanding events earlier this month to raise sponsorship for Bradford-based children’s charity, One in a Million (OIAM). Together with a previous activity undertaken by the CEO on his own, this month’s efforts bring the company’s sponsorship for OIAM to £8,174.91.

On Saturday, 4 July, the company’s CEO, Simon Pollard, set out early at 4.30am with his band of trusty men and women from across several of the company’s departments in preparation to tackle the Yorkshire 3-Peaks challenge. The walk began at 7am with Catherine Johnstone, Corrina Ward and Catherine Grayson from the Intouch Advance Mobile Support Team, together with the Sales Department represented by Paul Harrison and Scott Walker, and IT Apprentice, Chris Sprigg, completing the company unit.

Racing against a number of other leading regional companies, the challenge for the Intouch Advance ‘Magnificent Seven’ was to complete the three Yorkshire Peaks, Pen-y-Ghent (691m), Whernside (728m) and Ingleborough (723m) in just 12 hours! It’s a challenge they rose to!

After only seven hours and 35 minutes – and hardly breaking a sweat – Paul Harrison took a well-deserved first place, with CEO, Simon Pollard, not far behind and finding enough wind to complete the climbs after just eight hours to take an admirable third place for the men. Doing the ladies proud by taking first place for the women, Corrina Ward finished the three Yorkshire peaks in just 8hrs 50mins. The other team members all finished in respectable times and with their pride intact!

Simon Polard said, “With a great local cause spurring us on this excellent team rose to the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge. We’re proud to have been able to raise all the sponsorship we have and extremely grateful to all those who have helped surpass the target we expected to achieve. Having completed the Welsh 3000s mountain challenge previously – 15 peaks over 3,000’ in 24 hours – I knew what to expect, but between this latest climb and the skydive challenge the following week, it seems I have some pretty tough people working with me at Intouch Advance!”

The skydive referred to is the OIAM Charity Tandem Skydive, which took place on Sunday 12 July at Hibaldstow. Company Head of Finance, Laura Barrass and Sales Director, Scott Walker, suppressed any fear of heights to each take part in a tandem, free-fall skydive, harnessed to a BPA-qualified instructor during a one-minute, adrenaline-fuelled descent. Hibaldstow is allegedly the highest skydive in the UK, with jumps from 15,000ft.

Intouch Advance ‘Jumper’, Laura Barrass, exclaimed, “It was an amazing experience; nerve-racking going up but the jump was exhilarating! Having OIAM’s Wayne Jacobs and Craig McHugh on ground to support us made it easier, great fun and an experience I will never forget!” Eight other people from different companies also took part in the charity skydive.

Through various community-based projects in eight centres across the city, OIAM’s activities to provide grass-roots football and indoor athletics, Kidz Clubs, Dance and Educational & Creative Arts programmes for some 750 under-privileged children each week, gave impetus to the climbing and skydiving efforts of the Intouch Advance staff members.

Co-founder of OIAM, Wayne Jacobs, said, “I would like to thank Simon and his magnificent team of seven for their heart and commitment to help make a difference to the disadvantaged young people of our city. As a charity we exist to let the children know that they are One In A Million. On behalf of the young people that our charity works with, THANK YOU to the Intouch Advance team for their amazing support, for being One In A Million!”

Pollard concluded, “Charity begins at home and we are certainly passionate about our involvement with OIAM and the outstanding work it does for children from deprived backgrounds across Bradford and its surrounds. We very much look forward to new OIAM challenges in the future.