The UK Lift Industry Charity was officially founded in early 2007.
It was the brainchild of an informal group of lift industry people, who wanted to provide assistance to colleagues in times of trouble.
As such, it’s a cause close to the hearts of all who work at Pickerings Lifts.
Since its inception, the Charity has made donations in excess of £55,000 to individuals and the families of individuals who have been injured, or sadly, killed, whilst working in the lift industry.
This has been made possible with the help of donations, sponsorships and events like The Lift Industry Cycling Challenge.
And that’s where Warren Griffin, Ian Newman and Frank Studders, from the Pickerings Lifts Manchester office, join the story.
We caught up with Warren over a zoom call.
What’s the Charity Challenge?
I asked him “What are you doing to support UK Lift Industry Charity this year?”
“Ian Newman and I will be representing Pickerings Lifts in this year’s 250km cycling challenge.
The challenge takes place over two days on the 10 and 11 July 2021.
Everybody taking part… I believe there’s going be up to 160 riders… will meet at one of our lift industry colleagues’ offices – ILE Leicester – on the Saturday morning.”
“I think it’s going to be a memorable start. I have this image of something from the Whacky Races cartoon.
Day one, we’ll cycle to Oxford and set camp. This should be a great night as we have a beer and meet like-minded people, one eye on the time and one eye on the next day’s trip.
Day two, and it’s all downhill from here. I don’t mean literally… it would be great if it was, but the finish is now in sight. Dewhurst PLC London here we come.
But the best bit is…” and Warren pauses for dramatic effect, “we’ll be doing it on a tandem! And we’ll be the only one’s doing it on a tandem.”
Go big or go home… the Pickerings Lifts Manchester Office way
I laugh and ask “How on earth did you get roped into doing that?”
Smiling he answers, “Well. As with all hare-brained ideas. It started down the pub.
Ian, Frank and I were invited to Dewhurst and A&A to catch up following lock down and see their developing business program. This of course led to a social gathering at their local.
There wasn’t a lot of beer consumed but I remember Reiss Stygal… who is a very enthusiastic ambassador for the lift industry charity… starting to tell us about the upcoming cycle challenge.
Now, we could have said we would join in on a normal bike but that isn’t really us, is it? No. Definitely not. Go big or go home is more us. And Frank forced the decision with an over generous donation if Ian and I agreed to do the ride on a tandem we’d recently ‘acquired’.
How could we say no? After that the rest is history. Ian, Frank, and I kind of ended up in the mess we are in now.”
Why different is good for charity donations
“Seriously though. Charity events are an annual occurrence at the Manchester office.
We try and take a standard event and change it into something a bit different. It’s proven to be a good way of keeping the funds flowing.
Our last event was the National Three Peaks Challenge. We challenged ourselves to do it within 24 hours, and it was a great success. We raised thousands of pounds for a local mental health charity.
Obviously, we were planning other events in 2020, but like so many other people we had to cancel them.
I’m sure the pandemic has impacted a lot of charities who can only survive on public generosity, and a charity cycling challenge seemed to fill the charity void perfectly.
It’s going to be a great opportunity to meet new and old friends, and at the same time we’re raising awareness and funds of a very important charity that directly helps people we know.”
“So, you’ve been putting in the practice on the tandem then?” I ask.
“Of course, there’s a lot of pride at stake. We’ll be putting 100% into this, and I’ve no doubt that with Frank’s support we’ll get through it, but as of today we’ve only been on the bike once. All I can say is wish us luck!”
Laughing, Warren then tells me “What I can promise though, is as it stands, we will definitely be the first tandem home.”