Work colleagues from a chemicals company with a Derbyshire headquarters are to meet for the first time by climbing one of the UK’s tallest mountains together.
Employees of Lubrizol, which has a UK headquarters in Hazelwood, near Belper, are taking on a series of walking challenges over the next few months with the aim of reaching their £25,000 fundraising target for mental health charity Mind.
The first is a climb of Wales’ highest peak, Mount Snowdon, which will see colleagues from Lubrizol’s offices around the UK meet up – some for the very first time.
Chris Hart-Jones, Lubrizol’s production manager at its Barnsley site, who will be taking part in the 1,085-metre ascent of Snowdon, said it would present an opportunity for people who had joined the company since COVID to see each other in person rather than just converse over a screen.
He said: “We’ve all spent the past two years meeting new team members over the screen. We have not had the opportunity to meet them face to face.
“These walking challenges, starting with the ascent of Mount Snowdon, are a great chance for us to get together, meet people we have only met virtually in the past, and raise some money for charity in the process.”
Lubrizol has offices across the UK in Manchester, Barnsley, Consett, Huddersfield, and Mostyn in Wales, as well as Derbyshire. Colleagues will be walking up Mount Snowdon on May 21, the first of four walking challenges that teams from the company will be undertaking over the summer and autumn. In July, Lubrizol staff will take on England’s highest peak, Scafell Pike, before they face the famous Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge within a gruelling 12-hour timeframe the following month. To finish off, there will be a gentler company walk up Mam Tor in Castleton in September.
The four walks are all part of Lubrizol’s ‘Olympic challenge’ in aid of Mind, which began in April 2021. The idea behind the challenge was for staff to collectively cover the distance between the UK and Beijing, 5,800 miles, by a range of means including walking, cycling and running.
So far, the company’s staff have raised more than £22,000 for Mind with a variety of activities, one of the most recent of which has been a 24-hour gym challenge undertaken by four students based in its Manchester office.
Chris said during lockdown many of the company’s fundraising activities had been undertaken solo by employees, due to social distancing rules, so the four walks over the next few months were a chance for people to exercise as a group.
Claire Hollingshurst, from Lubrizol’s Derbyshire office, said: “At Lubrizol we believe strongly in supporting mental health as much as we can. COVID has taken a toll on many people’s emotional wellbeing and that’s why we have chosen as a company to raise £25,000 for Mind.
“We’re very proud of the money we have raised and we hope to reach our target through these four walking challenges over the next few months. Fresh air and exercise can be a great way of boosting mental health so it’s fitting that as a company we will be taking on some of the UK’s highest mountains together in aid of this very worthy cause.
“It’s lovely too that some of our newest colleagues will be able to meet up for the first time by climbing mountains together.”