STAFF from Inchcape’s Jaguar and Land Rover retail centres in Chester have raised £1,350 for Macmillan Cancer Support by climbing Snowdon and are now collecting more funds with their hand-built Santa sleigh.
The sleigh was the idea of the firm's head of business Andrew Tyler-Holland, who promised his mother he would raise money for the charity when she was being cared for by Macmillan nurses.
Eighteen colleagues, plus friends and family, set off from Inchcape’s HA Fox Jaguar centre on Bumpers Lane at 5am to make their way to Snowdon.
The intrepid team braved rain, sleet, hail and wind chill temperatures of -11 throughout the sponsored walk, but still managed to reach the snow-covered top of the mountain in less than four hours.
While the Jaguar team were busy training to tackle the mountain hike, colleagues at Inchcape’s neighbouring Hunters Land Rover centre on Sealand Road were busy with a fundraising challenge of their own.
The team built their own Santa sleigh, including wiring it up with lights and music systems and adding festive decorations.
The sleigh is being used to take Santa and his elves around the city to customers and friends who have requested a visit, in return for a donation to Macmillan.
Andrew Tyler-Holland, head of business at both Inchcape centres, said: “We have all been really keen to support Macmillan since it was first chosen as Inchcape’s charity in 2016. However, these latest two fundraising challenges have taken on extra meaning for me because I lost my mum to cancer earlier this year.
“When our service manager Tim organised the sponsored Snowdon walk, it felt like the team were pulling together to support me just as much as the charity itself.
“Some of those on the walk had never climbed up a mountain before and it was certainly a challenge for us all.
“Tim had only had major surgery on his back six months previously, but still completed the walk alongside his 11-year-old daughter.”
The Inchcape team had initially set a target to raise £500 for Macmillan with the sponsored walk, but were delighted to have more than doubled this and to have and raised £1,350 for the charity.
The fundraising now continues as the hand-built Santa sleigh finishes its tour of requested home visits, street parties and Christmas parties as well as dropping by the Tesco store on Sealand Road.
Andrew added: “My mum always loved Christmas, and the sleigh was something I promised her I would do in aid of Macmillan.
“In the first two nights we took it out and about, we raised a further £200 for Macmillan. We hope that over the next few days we can raise even more.
“Thank you to everyone who has supported us so far, and to all the team who have been giving up their own time to come out on the sleigh, both as drivers and as donation collectors. Seeing the children’s faces when they see Santa and the sleigh is magical. It is such a lovely thing to be a part of.”
Inchcape Retail UK, which has over 100 centres around the country including Inchcape HA Fox Jaguar and Hunters Land Rover, has been supporting Macmillan Cancer Support since staff voted it as their first charity partner in January 2016.
Since then, £118,000 has been raised.