Our team recently took on the Three-Peaks Challenge, raising funds for two worthy charities close to the hearts of our team.

James Simpson, Scott Needham, Sam Marshall and Andrew Fletcher embarked upon their hiking challenge facing high winds and torrential rain, all in the name of charity. Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon were taken on by the team with Wayne Stroud driving over 1000 miles across the weekend to ensure the team’s success.

The team smashed targets for their chosen charities, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society and SSAFA the Armed Forces Charity, raising over £2,000 in total.

Not only are both charities worthy causes, but they also have significant meaning for our team. Driver Wayne and his partner Jan Smith, who have worked for Gi Group for a combined time of 15 years, manage the daily struggles of MS, as Jan was formally diagnosed back in 2016.

Wayne Stroud and Jan Smith

Wayne Stroud and Jan Smith

Jan, who is our Resource Specialist, said: “Back in 2012, I was originally referred to a neurologist as I was experiencing dizzy spells, unusual feelings of numbness in my face and difficulty with my speech. Nothing was seriously investigated until 2015 when I became very unwell at work – memory loss, problems talking and walking and dizziness. I have since learned that it is often common for early signs of MS to be overlooked which shows the importance of the MS Society in funding research to catch the signs of MS sooner.”

As Jan shines a light on the difficulties faced through her MS, we have offered our support to ensure Jan is able to work comfortably within the team. Having given up her previous career because of her condition, Jan was pleased to join Andrew Fletcher, our Operations Manager for the South, and his specialist driving recruitment team.

Andrew commented: “We’re invested in supporting and nurturing our team members and as Jan is a valued member of our team it felt appropriate to support a charity that we would be able to see making a difference within our team. The Three Peaks Challenge was an excellent opportunity to push ourselves to the limit in the name of charity. I feel a great deal of pride towards my hiking teammates for our recent achievements and the funds we have been able to raise.

“The weather was certainly against us at times, but the team really pulled together, and we managed to battle through the night and reach our goal by the Sunday morning.”

Research by the MS Society estimates over 130,000 people live with MS in the UK and that nearly 7,000 people are newly diagnosed each year. The risk of MS within the general population is around 0.5%, with the risks being twice as much if a relative has MS.

Wayne Stroud, Operation Support Manager for Driving South and Jan’s partner, said: “When Jan was first diagnosed it really brought into focus everything we took for granted as a couple, It was truly life changing for us. The diagnosis took away a life we could have had together and for some time we both resented that, but it has now become part of our life together over the years. Our life as a couple is now wonderful, just different. Jan is very headstrong, which really helped us out of a dark time at the beginning, her glass is always half full and she refuses to let MS rule her life.

“I felt really proud to be part of the Three Peaks Challenge, showing my support for not only Jan but the wider MS community. The team went through so many emotional and physical challenges over the 26 hours and being able to offer them support at the bottom of each mountain was a pleasure.”

Not only do funds from the challenge go towards vital research into the early signs and treatment of MS, but they also go towards vital support helplines for those living with and caring for someone with MS. The charity works to provide emotional and financial support to those who need it, sharing the latest information and ultimately ensuring no one must face MS alone.

Jan continued: “Gi Group have offered me a flexible and supportive working environment. I am able to work around my illness, working from home but going into the office when I feel well enough. I also have part-time hours, which means I have the flexibility to attend my appointments or if I need some time off because of my MS. Despite my flexible working, the whole Gi Group team and Driving Division really make me feel part of the team, giving me a great sense of purpose and value, both of which took a sizeable hit when I had to leave my previous job due to my MS.”

At Gi Group, we pride ourselves on providing a diverse and inclusive working environment for each member of staff. Our team is committed to working internally to ensure each individual’s needs and perspectives are respected and catered for. The Three Peaks Challenge highlights the commitment of our team to continue this support and progression outside of the business.

Share The Story