Businesses across MK tackle homelessness and raise vital funds with marathon trek

Posted 18th September 2017

Business people from across Milton Keynes swapped their suits for walking gear on Friday to trek The Parks Trust Challenge, raising over £5k for the brand new ‘City Fund,’ created to raise money and awareness of homelessness throughout the City.

The idea to walk the 25 mile long Parks Trust Challenge, was born when Nicholas Mann, MD of full service marketing agency Interdirect, jokingly suggested it during his summing up of a talk given by David Foster, the Chief Executive of The Parks Trust. The 25 Mile Challenge Walk was created by The Parks Trust to mark the 50th anniversary of the City and links together some of the city’s finest parks and lakes.

Nick’s throwaway comment was ceased upon by Simon deMaid of Howes Percival who offered his immediate support, and the duo quickly drafted in Milton Keynes College to help with the marathon task of organising the event.

Following reports that Milton Keynes now has the third highest homeless population in the South East, and seeing an opportunity to raise much needed funds to help combat homelessness in the region, the triumvirate pledged to raise the £5,000, and worked closely with The Milton Keynes Community Foundation to create the ‘City Fund’; an exclusive fund raising tool to support the vulnerable.

On Friday, the 84 local business people, who battled the elements to take part in the mammoth walk, navigated their way around the route which began at Milton Keynes’ Howe Park Wood Education and Visitor Centre. For nine hours walkers traversed through the City’s parklands, crossed canals, and bypassed cows and hungry swans, before ending the challenge at The Caldecotte Arms to celebrate their achievements, and down a well-earned drink!

“Homelessness is an increasing issue within the Milton Keynes community,” explains Nicholas Mann, MD of Interdirect. “We are delighted that the money raised from The Parks Trust Challenge Walk will go a long way towards assisting the new ‘City Fund’. Throughout the entire planning process we worked closely with The Community Foundation to organise the event, while setting up the fund. 

“Along with The Community Foundation, we would like to thank Howes Percival and Milton Keynes College for helping us with the organisation of the event, and for keeping everyone motivated on the day! Also to Marshall Coaches, who not only supported the event, but transported the walkers to the starting line in the early hours of Friday morning. Xero were also incredible, entering four teams, raising a huge amount of money and even helping to organise some of the event.”  

Companies who donned their walking boots and raised vital funds for the charity included Grant Thornton, Xero, PJ Care, Mirus IT, Fibre Fab, MK Gallery and MK Lightning.

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