‘Faster 2 FIT’ Raises the Roof, and over £22,000 for Cancer Research UK
Made for Trade duo’s epic ride from Billingham to Birmingham proved to be a resounding success; arriving in time for the opening of the infamous industry event.
Away from the prying eyes of public open day attendees, the days spent setting up at industry exhibitions always brings about a visible sense of excitement for exhibitors involved, as manufacturers and key organisations start to build displays and take the covers off some of the most exciting new products to hit the market. This year at the FIT Show however, the team from Made for Trade had an unusual extra element to their stand alongside the multi-award winning Korniche aluminium glazing products: some impressive two-wheeled precision engineering that had arrived just in the nick of time for the end of setup day in Birmingham.
The beads of sweat in this instance were however not on the forehead of a stand builder; tensely awaiting a last-minute missing piece of an exhibition stand. Instead, they were dispersed from Made for Trade Operations Director Chris Wann and Head of Business Development Leigh Greenwood around the roads leading to Birmingham; the pair having cycled all the way to the event from their North East HQ, as a means of raising funds for Cancer Research UK.
Following months of training, the two departed on the road ride challenge in the early twilight hours of Monday 22nd May, with the wheels in motion at 2:40am to embark on the 200+ mile journey down the country to the West Midlands. The pair’s trek covered various counties, towns and villages, and the whole trip was documented and tracked throughout - live on social media via Made for Trade’s Facebook page as they wound their way through the UK.
Despite 204 miles covered and nearly 15 hours of constant pedaling, Chris and Leigh arrived on site exactly on their target time of 5:15pm; negotiating the NEC access roads around the huge exhibition site as their final navigational challenge in order to draw up outside the main doors. It wasn’t a traditional entrance to a show though, as here the weary pair were greeted and cheered in by the whole team of Made for Trade colleagues outside. They weren’t alone either; FIT Show representatives and key personnel from fenestration magazines also joined the welcome party, in front of a backdrop formed by the big screens at the NEC main entrance that showcased the arrival live in full colour around the site.
Whilst it is certainly a rather extreme way to swerve having to help with the setup of the impressive MFT exhibition stand, Chris and Leigh did still made their mark on the display, once their pair of bikes took centre stage within the Made for Trade floorspace. The charity challenge continued to bring in donations across the three days, whilst the bikes were surrounded by company logos of all the businesses that had committed impressive financial support to the pair in their fundraising endeavour.
Donations were quick paced from the start of fundraising earlier in the year, but quickly ramped up as the departure date drew closer. The total soon crept into five figures; however it was on arrival at FIT that the sum raised for Cancer Research UK became even more remarkable. Industry figures, companies and attendees were all incredible in their generosity at the event, and this was duly supplemented by the hugely generous donation from Andy Westhead at Glass Times who presented a cheque for £5,000 at the end of the show, as the chosen charity from money raised from the FITSHOW Passport venture.
Speaking of the fundraising mission, Made for Trade Operations Director Chris Wann said: “FIT Show has always been about the attendees and people as much as the show itself, which meant there was no better place for us to attempt a Made for Trade fundraising effort.
“The work done by Cancer Research UK is second to none and relentless for something that affects so many people. Taking on this challenge was a great way to bring in valuable donations and raise awareness, but nothing compared to the hard work done by the charity in continuing to make progress. Ultimately, myself, Leigh and all at Made for Trade have been bowled over by the generosity and support by the industry, FIT Show and of course friends and family.”