Friday, May 27, 2016

News: Gearing up to mark Rotherham Hospice's 20th year

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A production manager for the local branch of Signs Express is getting back in the saddle to undertake a mammoth bike ride to raise valuable funds for Rotherham Hospice.

Based at Templeborough, Signs Express pride themselves on their expertise and innovative solutions to help businesses come up with perfect signage solutions, tailored specifically to their requirements.

The only adult hospice in Rotherham for the people of Rotherham, Rotherham Hospice is an independent charity and must raise significant sums of money each year in order to pay for the quality care provided free of charge to patients, their families and carers. The charity needs £5m a year with £2.2m needed to be raised each year through voluntary support.

Gareth Russell, production manager at Signs Express, took on a cycling challenge in 2014 for Rotherham Hospice and raised an amazing £5,000. This September he will join a team of 50 fundraisers as part of the "Big 20" - so called as it is the Rotherham Hospice's 20th anniversary.

Partnering with specialist charity event organisers, Skyline Events, the 345 mile trip from London to Paris also includes a stop at Rotherham's twin town, Saint Quentin on day four before the cyclists arrive in Paris on day five.

Gareth said: "It's an amazing experience. The French roads are great for cycling, and all the cyclists ride into Paris together. It's a fantastic atmosphere."

Donations can be made at Gareth's Just Giving page.

Also set to take on the fundraising challenge are Christopher Duff, chief executive at Rotherham Hospice and GP, Ted Daly, a trustee at the hospice.

A number of fundraising events are taking place throughout the hospice's 20th year. The anniversary ball, recently held at Aston Hall Hotel, raised £16,000.

An official launch event recently took place for the Tree of Life - an imposing, unique sculpture in stainless steel created by Yorkshire Man of Steel designer Steve Mehdi. Inspired by the shape of a tree in the hospice garden and intended as a commemorative artwork, the three metre tall structure will support over 290 individual leaves which can be dedicated in memory of a loved one.

The unique fundraising venture has already raised some £20,000; numerous bereaved relatives whose loved ones received hospice care have paid for engraved leaves and sections of bark to be placed on the tree in their memory.

The Tree of Life was made of steel donated by Outokumpu and built with the help of Newburgh Precision Engineering. Maher Ltd provided the tubular steel frame, JF Finnegan built the foundations with help from Peter Brett Associates. Mark Smithson transported the tree to the site and TPA Portable Roadways and PP Engineering lifted the three tonne tree over the fence into the hospice garden. The tree will glow at night thanks to ASD Lighting and there was also help from the apprentices at the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, We are Branding and Performance Engineered Solutions. Pryor Marketing have engraved all the leaves and the bark.

"We all could help, so we did," explained Vince Middleton, MD of Newburgh, who dedicated the company's best welder, Paul Smith, to the task of fabricating the tree from the donated stainless steel and alloys.

"Paul did a brilliant job. It took 200 hours, working under the guidance of sculptor Steve Mehdi. We all felt privileged to be involved in a project which is so creative and which will do a great deal of good for many years to come."

Former Outokumpu MD Jamie Sharp, who has also pledged to supply the steel leaves and bark for a minimum of two years, added: "The tree brings art and industry together and shows the beauty and everlasting quality of stainless steel, a material first created in South Yorkshire."

Signs Express website
Rotherham Hospice website

Images: Rotherham Hospice

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