Ride of Britain

Press release 22/09/2011 10:00 CET

Skanska cyclists prepare for epic challenge in support of servicemen.

Ride of Britain Poster

Celebrity Ben Fogle joins a team of 40 cyclists, including Skanska employees, as they embark on a 480 mile bike ride from Edinburgh to London, on behalf of the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA).

Attracting national media attention, the team will set off from Edinburgh Castle on the morning of 21 September donning Skanska/SSAFA cycling shirts. ITV’s Daybreak will be screening the start of the event live and will follow the team’s progress throughout the week. ITN News and the Daily Mirror will also be covering the event.

Miriam Lewis from Building – Central and Regions has worked tirelessly to promote the event and arrange Skanska’s involvement. Skanska Konnect (part of SRW) Data Engineer Brendan Fahy and Project Manager Kieran Ellerton are cycling on behalf of Skanska. Kieran is a former serviceman and Brendan has just completed 25 years with Skanska. Injured veterans of Afghanistan, sports personalities and celebrities, like Rav Wilding and Jason Queally, make up the rest of the group.

Miriam will be acting as support for Brendan and Kieran along the route. Executive Vice Presidents Harvey Francis and Cecilia Fasth met the Skanska team at Maple Cross on 20 September to see them on their way with some words of encouragement.

The riders will complete their journey on Sunday 25 September when they cycle into London’s Horseguards Parade to be greeted by Major General Andrew Cumming.

To mark the achievement Rifleman Paul Jacobs and Rifleman Michael Swain will cycle onto the stage at The Pride of Britain Awards – wearing their Skanska/SSAFA shirts. This event will take place on 5 October and will show highlights of the cycle ride as the men receive an award to commemorate a decade in Afghanistan.

These two soldiers sustained permanent injuries as they served in Afghanistan. Despite their injuries they will also be taking part in the challenging bike ride. Paul, who was left blinded, will ride on a tandem guided by his brother, while Michael, who had his legs amputated, will be using a hand bike.

Commenting on the team’s JustGiving fundraising site, Staff Sergeant Steve Lucas from Headley Court, the military’s rehabilitation hospital, said: “I work with injured servicemen and women daily; good luck and we hope you reach your target.”

Show your support for SSAFA and for your Skanska colleagues by making a donation at http://www.justgiving.com/rideteamskanska.