Eight colleagues, who work on the platforms, in the Ticket Office and as Welcome Hosts at the station, have teamed up to walk and cycle nearly 150 miles.
They are raising vital funds for Man about a Dog (MaaD) – a group based at Stockport Progress and Recovery Centre (SPARC), that supports people who have attempted to take their own life.
Originally the team challenged themselves to cycle from Chester to Snowdonia in North Wales (78 miles) and climb Snowdon (approximately 10 miles) in March but due to the COVID-19 pandemic their plans were put on hold.
Eager to fundraise for MaaD, who regularly visit Stockport station to support Avanti West Coast staff and customers, they adapted the challenge by basing it closer to home and following social distancing guidelines.
The team are due to complete their challenge together in two socially distanced groups, with a 10-mile walk between Marple and New Mills along the Cheshire Meander Circular Walk later this week (17 October). They also plan to climb Mount Snowdown once lockdown restrictions ease.
Over half (£600) of the fundraising target has been reached, which will help the MaaD Team to continue their vital work.
Tony Sweeney, Customer Service Assistant at Avanti West Coast, said: “We know first-hand how vital the work of Man about a Dog is to the local community and we want to do our bit to raise funds to support this great project. Whilst it is not the original fundraiser we planned, we are determined to complete this challenge and are proud to be clocking up the miles locally. We are excited for our final trek and would like to thank everyone for their continued support with our fundraising efforts.”
Speaking about the efforts of Avanti West Coast staff, Chris Platt, Project Manager at Man about a Dog, said: “This is the most ambitious and challenging fundraising activity that anyone has ever organised for us. We are so grateful to all the staff at Stockport station and particularly the eight colleagues for all their efforts to fundraise for us. Our current funding is due to run out next year, and we are amazed at the support from Team Avanti West Coast that will allow our unique and life-saving work to continue.
“We are also actively looking for long-term funding that will ensure the long-term future of the project, enabling us to continue to support the expected increase in the numbers of people attempting suicide during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The Stockport station team are raising additional funds by providing emergency medication pill boxes in return for a small donation to MaaD.