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Local company saddles up for Ride for Precious Lives

03 July 2024 CHSW

A team of colleagues from one of North Somerset’s largest employers is preparing to saddle up for a charity ride between Bristol and Cornwall – for the eleventh consecutive year.

Twelve members of staff at Edwards in Clevedon are taking part in the Children’s Hospice South West’s Ride for Precious Lives from 12-14 July.

The team from Edwards will join more than 90 cyclists as they bike 200 miles from Charlton Farm children’s hospice in Wraxall to Little Harbour children’s hospice in St Austell, calling in at Little Bridge House in Barnstaple on route.

For Edwards, which produces specialist environmental systems to clean gases used in the manufacture of microchips, Ride for Precious Lives is just part of its long-standing relationship with CHSW which began in 2010.

Alongside sponsoring the cycling event for the last 11 years, generating more than £250,000 for the charity, Edwards supports CHSW in many other ways.

The company, which is part of Atlas Copco Group and employs 650 people at its site at Kenn, also provides volunteers for events and other activities – such as the bi-monthly clean of Charlton Farm’s ball pit.

Many Edwards staff also use their volunteering days provided by the company to help CHSW while others support the charity’s fundraising events – such as Incredible Hike and Santas on the Run.

The site is also a busy fundraising hub for CHSW with staff organising a variety of events throughout the year, from Christmas jumper week to bucket collections and cake sales.

Edwards’ partnership with CHSW also helps to support its in-house wellbeing programme to promote its four pillars of wellness – physical health, mental health, social connectiveness and sense of purpose.

Edwards General Manager Neil Mehta said: “CHSW is very close to our hearts and is very much part of the Edwards’ community.

“Our involvement with CHSW also helps us develop each of our pillars of staff wellbeing which are so important to us.

“From a personal perspective it’s lovely to be involved in something where you can see the direct result of your efforts on the families which are supported by CHSW.

Listening to the families share their stories is very personal and impactful and as a company, that’s what drives us.

CHSW corporate fundraiser Amanda Gallagher said: “The support from the team at Edwards has been, and continues to be, phenomenal. 

“We are so grateful for their continued sponsorship of Ride for Precious Lives and their dedication to fundraising. 

“Their support doesn’t end there.

“By volunteering at our hospice and lending a hand with our events, they are continuing to help us make the most of short and precious lives across the South West.”

Alongside its support of CHSW, Edwards works with local schools to provide work experience placements and supports the Women In Science and Engineering (WISE) programme.

It also supports the 10,000 Black Interns Programme, offering opportunities to under- represented talent and has a range of apprenticeship and graduate programmes enabling people to gain training, new skills and qualifications.

As a local business it also focuses heavily on the community where large numbers of its workforce live, supporting organisations including local sporting teams.

This year it has assisted West Backwell Bowls Club in developing its disability programme to make the sport inclusive to all.

As well as its work to minimise the environmental impacts of semiconductor manufacturing, the company focuses on sustainability at its base in Clevedon.

Along with harvesting rainwater for its processes and using solar energy, it has installed bird and bat boxes at its site and supports cleans of Clevedon beach.  It also offers a cycle to work scheme and has electric bike and car charging points and is actively involved in the project to extend the Strawberry Line to Clevedon as part of its active travel plan.