So proud

I have to say how proud I am of all the MGC Hayles and Woods Coaches three peakers. We are currently driving back on the coach to Leicester from Ben Nevis and although people are tired they are quite rightly pleased with their achievements, some are slightly disappointed that due to injury, tight timings and, in Bev ‘s case, a shoe malfunction not everyone managed all 3 right to the top BUT everyone gave it 110% which is all they can ask of themselves
Did everything go smoothly? Well we battled with weather, sunsets which were inconveniently timed, driver timing regulations, road closures overnight which diversions
added nearly an hour to an already tight schedule and our pizzas which were due to be delivered at the end of scafell pike were delayed by fog and mountain rescue closing the road resulting in no hot meal yesterday!!! so no everything did not go smoothly but it was all worth it for such a fantastic cause. We haven’t got a final total raised yet but I will keep you posted.
Special mention to the drivers from Woods coaches, Ian & Jim who not only drove but did the walks as well which as far as I am concerned is above and beyond and Bill & Chad who due to the timing problems have had to rearrange their work schedules tomorrow(apologies to their colleagues who have had to step in)
Matt was an brilliant co worker and did so many things behind the scenes and Mark was a massive help and encouragement.
It’s time to get some food so I will sign off for now – so glad everyone made it down safely

Why Rainbows & The Three Peaks Challenge? By Steven Mugglestone

Why Rainbows & The Three Peaks Challenge?
Our approach to our clients and our business is to always ask, Tell Us Your Story, but on this occasion and for charitable purposes, we are telling you ours.
Coming up with the idea of supporting a charity and “doing something” seemed to be such a logical thing to do. As accountants and business advisers, we like reasons and checklists and this seems to tick a number of boxes:
• It brings everyone together, with the aim of everyone up and everyone down the mountains
• It gives a focus of organisation for our team and stops me taking control of things
• It gives an opportunity to do something with a client, Woods Coaches
• It raises money for such an incredible charity cause
• It makes you realise that Rainbows should not need to be a charity, but really needs financial support
• It does give us positive PR
• It stops us sitting around too much and helps our fitness
Given that we wanted to do something physical, The Three Peaks Challenge, seemed the obvious choice. Yes, we know that it is not Everest, but for a bunch of largely unfit office workers, the highest peaks in England, Wales and Scotland, covering 25 miles of walking in under a day and a half (we are doing it backwards Snowdon and Scafell on Saturday and Ben Nevis on Sunday morning) seemed to be enough of a challenge to hurt. So, we are nearly there and what have we learnt:
Bringing people together
I have not been involved in all of the training walks, as I have family as well and started to drag them out walking, but I joined a group for the 15 mile Leicester City walk for Rainbows in May. Others in the firm, however, have walked various hills in Leicestershire and Edale, as well as completing the Yorkshire Three Peaks in August. Everyone recognises that sharing the stories of each-others blisters and bruises does a great deal to bring everyone together. We have tracked our trials and tribulation on our charity blog site, https://www.threepeakschallenge.net/9188/mgc-hayles-woods-coaches, Spending hours alone walking through hillsides and fields also ensures that you find out far more about your colleagues than days in the offices.
On a personal front, my seventeen your old son is joining us to tackle the challenge and I have been out training with him on a regular basis, both in a gym and throughout the countryside. This has allowed us to spend more time alone to discuss a whole variety of matters and issues. Perhaps without this focus on the three peaks, we would not have done this, because of work and college, so personally for me; this has been a great time.
Mental and physical challenge
Some say that you should do something that scares you on a regular basis, to keep you alive. I think that this challenge is similar, but combines both a physical and mental test. It is on a bucket list, so it is a great thing to do. We have all said that we are doing it and all trying to get fit in relevant training, but when it comes to it, come what may it will be a mental test to finish. We have all been tackling boot and shoe issues, with blisters and bruises as we break-in either new boots or problems with our old boots that stopped us walking before. For me, a new pair of boots were required, when I tried to replace the laces on my old boots and through rust and mud, they proved impossible to re-lace. Walking 15 miles in brand new boots in May, was not, however, the cleverest thing that I have ever done and the cuts, bruises and blisters did take a couple of weeks to heal fully. When it comes to it, though, it is will power and determination that will ensure that we complete the challenge, even if our feet and ankles are covered in plasters.
For me, as well, a knee operation will mean that I will have my knee strapped up, but with a walking stick this is not going to stop me. I would hope that an air ambulance is not required as that would be embarrassing.
The key driver, however, is not just the challenge for us, but also that we are doing it for such a great organisation and cause in Rainbows. Some of the firm have visited the hospice and met their team, people with a fantastic positive attitude, which shines through. So, given that, how can we fail?
A focus for my colleagues
It was easy to come up with the idea and the charity and apart from the training and walk itself, I have not been required to do a great deal more, as my colleagues have taken up the organisation and planning of the task. You cannot see a better way to improve organisation and management than this really. All planned, with itineries and equipment lists and timings and briefings, drivers and minibus transfers all sorted and agreed with Woods Coaches. Nothing less expected from trained and qualified accountants and business advisers.
The selfish gene
Yes, we get PR out of what we are doing. We do not see this as selfish really. It is positive PR, for us, for all of the team, for Rainbows, our adopted charity. For those that may find this tasteless, and actually we do not see many, we are still doing something positive. Rainbows are a positive bunch of people and they really want other involved to publicise what they do with them as it is great PR for them as well. They need to keep in the public eye, as they need to continually to raise money to keep operating and doing such a great job. They do not get anywhere near enough government support to operate and they rely on continuous fund raising.
If all of this is selfish, I certainly have a clear conscience.
Please help us support Rainbows
The final countdown begins as we tackle the three peaks on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd of September. Through other events and initiatives throughout the year, we are well on course to raising £10,000 for Rainbows and we want to make sure that we do that.
If you would like to help, you can make a donation through our Just Giving site at http://www.justgiving.com/company/mgchayles and as a final word from accountants, we would like to say that it is tax deductible, so ever more of a reason to make a donation, oh and time to consider what we should do next.
https://mgchaylescharitychallenge.wordpress.com/
https://twitter.com/MGC_Hayles
http://www.mgchayles.co.uk/

Yorkshire Three Peaks – a taster challenge, from Chris Tadman

What the three peak challenge means to me.

With a little under five weeks to go, we are nearing what will be one of the most physically demanding weekends of some of our lives. A weekend that will see us push our bodies to the limits all in the name of charity. Yes, in just over a calendar month, a team made up of employees from MGC Hayles and Woods Coaches will be attempting the three peak challenge. 

As accountants and bus drivers, we are stereotypically not the most athletic people on the planet and I, personally, can think of nothing worse than spending two hours at a gym after a mentally tough day sat in front of a computer however there is something about this challenge that appealed to me.

 Over the last five years, my parents have developed a passion for climbing the fells of the lake district and that has slowly spread onto me. I made the decision to join them for a weekend and see what it was all about and instantly fell in love with it. Back then, I was fresh out of University and so had not succumbed to the snacking ways of the MGC Hayles office and so the challenge of climbing one of the smaller fells was nothing as I raced ahead, bouncing over the rocky paths, with my heart rate barely rising above normal. I loved the peace and quiet that could only be found at the top of the hills and the views were something I had never experienced before. For me, it opened my eyes to a world away from the city life that I so rarely left. 

 The three peak challenge will let me experience those thrills I felt but on a bigger scale and give me something  to tell my (as yet unborn) child that will hopefully make him proud of his old man. As of yet my life has been fairly ordinary with my biggest non academic achievements being things such as going an entire season of never missing a Leicester game, running ten miles in memory of a departed friend, and having two poems published in books (something that not many people tend to know about me).  Nothing that I would consider “bucket list” material. This, however is something that is well and truly putting me outside of my comfort zone.

 So far, training is going well. Numerous laps of a course involving a 9 mile route of Bradgate Park and Beacon Hill have helped me to raise my stamina from “awful” to “below average.” Combine that with trips to Edale in Derbyshire and I’ve ensured that various different terrains have been navigated without any major injuries or discomfort bar a few aches. I was feeling confident and impressed that my unfit body was responding well and not kicking up a massive fuss…. Until last weekend when we ventured up north to partake in the Yorkshire three peak challenge. This course is mildly shorter than the main challenge in terms of distance to walk however you only have 12 hours to complete it. 11 hours and 56 minutes of gruelling walking and the challenge was done…. Or so we thought. When the shoes came off, the blisters were immense but that was nothing compared to the next morning when the aches and the pains kicked in. Knees were agony, calf muscles were aching in ways that I didn’t know existed and my big toenails were a deep shade of purple resembling two badges of honour to acknowledge that the challenge was done. Mentally though, I feel that I’m now ready. I know what my body can handle and how to prepare to limit the damage to my already battered feet.

 So what does the three peak challenge mean to me? Firstly, it’s a way of doing something way out of my comfort zone that will give me a great sense of accomplishment. Secondly, I’m getting to know my colleagues in a way I never would have done over a desk at work. Endless miles of walking have passed and I can safely say that I’ve not been bored once. Whilst I cannot wait for the challenge to get underway, a part of me will be disappointed to see it end. Most importantly though, it’s a way to raise money for Rainbows Children’s Hospice – an amazing charity that needs all the funding it can get. As the fundraising total increases, so does our motivation to succeed, so, if you have read this and want to help us reach our goal then you can donate at http://www.justgiving.com/chris-tadman

One Challenge down…….

Hot off the press from Katy

“Yesterday as a company we took part in the Rainbows Walk of Life, we had very nice weather for the walk, some of us got slight sunburnt. It was definitely a fun and challenging walk. Please see attached a photo of the MGC Hayles team before we set off on the walk and some of the girlies at the finish line of the walk.

We all arrived around 9:30am prepared for the Walk, with all but one of us signing up for the 15 miles walk.

We started with a warm up around 10:15, which I know everyone enjoyed more than they were making out! With Emma saying I never signed up for this!. We set off for our walk around 10:35, all raring to go, with Lucy setting the pace. Denise split off from us on the remainder of her 5 mile walk at the 3.5 mile mark, whilst the rest of us continued with our 15 mile walk. We all made it to the 5 mile mark with the same enthusiasm we started with but it was definitely warring out after 10 miles.

I was definitely feeling it at 12 miles as were the others but despite this we all made to the 15 mile finish thanks to Rachael’s much needed encouragement. Craig finishing first (disappearing off to watch the football before the rest of us got to the finish). Most of the girls finished next at 3:10pm and then Amanda and Steven finished with exchanged child (unbeknown by most of us swapped throughout the walk due to exam commitments).

Denise also successfully completed her 5 mile walk with her excitable and very cute dog Esther.

We all received a medal and a goodie bag at the end of the walk including Esther.

A big well done and thank you to everyone who took their time and effort to take part yesterday, you should all be very proud of yourselves, I am sorry if you are feeling the pain today, I sure am.

Please join me in congratulating everyone who took part in the walk yesterday.

Thank you to Denise and Neil’s taxi service; it was very much appreciated by all passengers.

The people who have taken part in the Rainbows Walk of Life and are not taking part in the three peaks challenge have raised about £670, well done to you all. This includes some donations that are still to be added onto the Just Giving page and this may still be added to in the next few days. I will give you a final total once the walkers have finalised their JustGiving pages, this has to be done by 19 July 2013 (we need to check out how this works).

We are doing really well with the company Just Giving page which is currently around £1,633.
Walk Of Life 2013 MGC Hayles Team Photo

Some of The MGC Hayles Girls At The Finish Line Of The Rainbows Walk Of Life 2013

Rainbows Walk of Life

Well that has sneaked up on us too quickly – it is the rainbows walk of life in Leicester on Sunday and 10 of us are walking either 5 or 15 miles to raise money for the Rainbows hospice, along with hundreds if other people.
I am really looking forward to the experience but maybe not the blisters afterwards.
Lets hope the weather is dry!!!!
Please if you can go along to our justgiving page at mgchayles charity page and give us a donation
Will post some pictures afterwards for your enjoyment