Employees of Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicle dealer Rygor put their best feet forward to net nearly £4,400 for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance by taking on the famous National Three Peaks Challenge.
The gruelling event requires participants to climb the highest peaks of Scotland (Ben Nevis), England (Scafell Pike) and Wales (Snowdon) within 24 hours.
The Rygor team of 17 walkers and six drivers were drawn from across the company’s network of 12 dealerships, which are located across much of central southern England.
The combination of near 30-degree heat and injuries picked up during the event meant they missed their goal by an agonisingly narrow margin – having scaled first Ben Nevis and then Scafell Pike, the team reached the summit of Snowdon just five minutes outside the target time.
What really mattered, though, was that they had completed the challenge, and raised much-needed cash for a charity that provides a life-saving service across Wiltshire and beyond.
The suggestion that Rygor enter the National Three Peaks Challenge was put forward by Fleet & Unimog Sales Manager Bill Kingsmill and Used Truck Sales Manager Roy Simpson, both of whom took part.
Friends, family and in some cases suppliers and customers of the climbers backed their efforts by agreeing to sponsor them, while the company’s directors also chipped in with their own donation.
Rygor last year acquired the former Mercedes-Benz franchisee for Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Worcestershire, and the event had a useful spin-off benefit in bringing together staff from across the new, expanded business.
"As an exercise in team-building the Three Peaks Challenge was brilliant," explains Lucy Gearing, a Financial Analyst based at the company’s Westbury headquarters.
"It was very tough, of course, but also great fun. And it’s certainly helped to forge a common bond between those of us who have worked for Rygor for years, and those who are still relatively new employees of this company.
"Most important of all," she adds, "between us we also managed to raise a great deal of money for a very deserving cause, one which many of us will continue to support in the future."
Wiltshire’s Air Ambulance was established in 1990 as a joint venture between the Wiltshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust and the Wiltshire Constabulary. The air ambulance is called out to all sorts of emergencies day and night, the speed of the helicopter and skill of its crew frequently making the difference between life and death.
Until now the service has relied on charitable donations to pay one third of its annual, £2.5 million running costs, with the police funding the remaining two thirds. But from next year the air ambulance will have to be entirely self-funding.
"We’ve always relied on the public to keep us flying but more so than ever now," says Paramedic Steve Riddle. "So the magnificent efforts of the Rygor team were hugely appreciated – hopefully, their aches and pains were at least partially eased by the knowledge that every penny they raised will help to save a life."
Rygor employs some 600 people and is one of Britain’s leading commercial vehicle dealers, selling and supporting the award-winning Mercedes-Benz truck and van ranges, as well as Fuso Canter light trucks. In addition to its head office in Wiltshire, the company’s 11 other facilities are located across West London, Berkshire, Gloucestershire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Somerset and Worcestershire.