Pendlewood gets on his Bike… for charity!

Pendlewood’s Managing Director Alan Pendlewood has always been up for a challenge… sometimes with success (building Pendlewood up from “2 men in a garden shed” to Small Business of the Year) and sometimes with not so much success (his many attempts to give up smoking!).

However, Alan has decided to embark on what he describes as “my biggest challenge to date”. He has decided to revert to his ambition of using the success and profile of the company to help out some local good causes… while helping himself at the same time!

Alan, after reaching the big 5-0 earlier this year and hitting a portly 16 stone, has decided not to accept the ‘pipe and slippers approach’ just yet and embark upon a personal crusade to get back into – and remain – in good shape… with the ambition of returning to what he admits is his “fighting fit weight” – 12 stone.

Always a keen cyclist, Alan has been riding his bike throughout the summer to try and get healthy and has now decided to link it to a news story he recently read, that touched his heart.

He read about the story of Steve Roberts, a healthy and courageous young man who battled bravely against skin cancer before eventually passing away after a brave 2 year fight, at the tragically early age of 27. In his memory his many friends and family started a fundraising charity called Shades4Ste, whose aim is to raise awareness of the risks of the malignant melanoma type of skin cancer that Steve battled against and in particular its direct link to a one off incident of sunburn in childhood.

Shelters like this will hopefully be in more schools than ever before thanks to 'Shades4Ste'

As Pendlewood are the leading manufacturer of sun shelters for schools, Alan felt that this was a cause he could link in and help with. As a result Alan and the charity are hoping to agree a link-up which will culminate have the aim of fitting as many schools as possible with to help eliminate the deadly threats of skin cancer from our youngsters. Alan and Shades4Ste hope that with the help, support and donations of the general public that one day every school in the area (and eventually the country) will have an ultra-safe Pendlewood shelter protecting their pupils from the dangers of the sun.

Therefore Alan plans on partaking in a monthly challenge to raise money for Shades4Ste. If the agreement is formalised, all the shelters that Shades4Ste purchase will be at major discounts from Pendlewood complete with our advanced CV safety roofs – which would kindly be provided at a reduced rate by Macrolux.

The first challenge that Alan has accepted, is to complete the famous C2C ride from Whitehaven, Cumbria to Sunderland, Wearside in just 2 days.  The 140 mile ride includes many peaks and troughs and hopefully will succeed in and losing excess pounds for himself but also raising plenty of pounds for Shades4Ste! The big ride will take place on Friday & Saturday August 27/28.

Alan is very excited about the long slog which lies ahead. He buzzed: “If there is one thing I love, its a challenge. And if there’s one thing I’m petrified of, its failure. This challenge is not going to be easy but the knowledge that this is for such a worthy cause that will help save lives is all the motivation I need. It’s going to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done… but it’ll easily be the most rewarding once I’ve succeeded!”

Alan appeared on Radio Lancashire to spread word of the good cause

Alan officially launched and spoke about the campaign in detail on the Sally Naden Show on BBC Radio Lancashire recently (Wednesday July 28 2009). If you missed it find it on the BBC player here.

Full details about (and the background behind) Shades 4 Ste charity can be found here.

Information on the C2C ride can be found here.

Should anyone be interested in sponsoring Alan, have any ideas for future challenges or want to find out more about this worthy cause, then email alan@pendlewood.com or call him on 01695 557 500 now!

Billy thrives and survives!

Pendlewood has long been a play-and-climb favourite with primary schools, nurseries and children’s centres and it recently received a well deserved update, which has gone down a storm with the lucky children and staff who have experienced the new and improved version!

The multi-access range has always consisted of:

The Billy – A simple but exciting design that acts as a great introduction to active, climb based play for young and early years children.

A real Tree-t for the pupils of Brabyn Nursery

A real Tree-t for the pupils of Brabyn Nursery

The Billy Goat’s Gruff – The ‘Gruff’, as it is affectionately referred to, is a larger and slightly more challenging structure that is also a natural progression from The Billy.

Gruff Love

Gruff Love

Previously the two products were only available in their ‘standard’ sizes and with ‘standard’ features. However, now there have been bespoke options and features added that are available to you should you want your structure to deviate from the norm.

The Billy is now available with a special bespoke tree house look that will further encourage cognitive role play, while also adding colour to the playground. In addition to this there are a variety of alternate options that can be added to the Billy if required.

The standard design sees the platform accessed by a scramble ramp, with a slide offering an exciting route down. As a bespoke feature, such as the one pictured that Brabyns Nursery in Cheshire have added to the playground, there is a option of a rope climbing net which can be added to give the youngsters another thrilling challenge when scaling or descending from the platform.

The Billy Goat’s Gruff has also had bespoke features and options developed. The standard design has two towers, linked by an exciting rope rope bridge. From one tower is a large slide, at the other end there is a vertical climbing ramp. However, a special wooden walkway was designed to replace the rope bridge following an enquiry from the Dowry House Nursery School in Preston, and after its successful construction and installation it has been added to the list of bespoke options available for ‘the Gruff’.

Pendlewood’s Design Manager, Piers Dutson-Steinfeld, is the man behind the new bespoke designs. ‘PDS’ gave an honest appraisal of why the Billy range had evolve. He explained: “The Billy range has been a popular staple of our play-and-climb range for many years. However, as we have continually raised the bar and redefined natural play-and-climb with products like The Paradigm and The Pyramid, I felt this range was in danger of being left behind. Therefore it was clear customers needed a few more options and flexibility and I think the result ensures Billy will have plenty of mates for many years to come!”