Businesses in Calderdale and Kirklees have thrown their weight behind an extreme fundraising challenge to raise awareness and cash to beat modern slavery.
Extreme Challenge: Vietnam is a unique opportunity for brands and businesses to contribute to Hope for Justice’s life-changing work, bringing an end to modern slavery by preventing exploitation, rescuing victims, restoring lives and reforming society.
A team of 18 cyclists – including Orchard FM and FM Energy founder Gareth Henderson – will cycle 377km from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, in just five days, crossing fields and dirt tracks in tropical heat and humidity.
Gareth’s business sponsors so far include Shaw Pallet, Prego Restaurant, Yorkshire Payments, See It Now Sports, Chadwick Lawrence, One 17 Design, D Sales, JMPR, Shaw Timber and Gazprom Energy with the list growing all the time.
With the cycling team including entrepreneurs and influencers from business, entertainment and philanthropy, corporate supporters will be putting their brands in front of a huge and engaged audience with celebrity support bringing with it a reach of more than 40 MILLION people on social media alone.
Hope for Justice CEO Ben Cooley is joining the ride, having previously taken part in the hugely successful ‘Zoe Challenge’ ride five years ago, tracing the route from Riga in Latvia to Southampton in the UK taken by one of the first victims rescued by the charity, known as ‘Zoe’ to protect her identity. He is pictured (above) in front of the Hope for Justice Freedom Wall which symbolises the lives set free from slavery, the padlocks released and the people restored.
Ben Cooley said: “Our team spent time in Vietnam and discovered the stories of children who were just seven years old, forced to work in the mines, enslaved and neglected, even to the point of death.
“We knew we had to do something about this. Extreme Challenge: Vietnam is our response: to raise awareness of this horrendous situation, and more importantly, to do something to make a difference.”
The cycle challenge runs from October 30th to November 4th, 2018.
Phoebe Southall is Partnerships Manager at Hope for Justice and is helping to organise the event. She said: “We want to live in a world free from slavery and as part of that vision we need to set up more projects just like these across the globe – and the fundraising from this Challenge will be invested in powering that ambition!
“We are incredibly grateful for the dedication the cyclists are showing to this cause by getting involved, and we hope as many people as possible feel able to donate towards this challenge and our life-changing work. Having seen our projects in Cambodia for myself last year, I know that every penny makes a huge difference for girls who are recovering from some of the worst experiences imaginable, and walking on a journey towards restoration.”
Gareth is immensely grateful to everyone who has sponsored him so far and Orchard FM will continue to recognise supporters on social media.
To keep an eye on the latest total and add your support please visit: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/GarethHenderson2