A 92 strong team of cyclists from Unilever UK and Ireland’s head office in Leatherhead are setting off on their third annual 180-mile charity cycle in memory of colleague and friend, Mel Jaggard.

The Miles4Mel fundraiser was created in memory of Mel, who sadly passed away in 2013 from Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma (ACC), a rare form of head and neck cancer. Since 2013, employees at the Leatherhead office have engaged in fundraising activities to raise awareness and donate to Get A-Head, a charity trust dedicated to fighting head and neck diseases. This year the team have set themselves an ambitious target of raising £70,000, which would bring their total fundraising amount from the past three years too over £200,000. Mel was also an active fundraiser for the charity and helped to raise tens of thousands of pounds to fund research into this rare cancer.

This year the two day event on May 20th and 21st, is set to be even more ambitious with a record number of cyclists participating. In addition to over 90 employees cycling from Unilever’s Leatherhead office to Mel’s hometown in Gilwern, South Wales, eight employees will take to the sky in a ‘Jump4Mel’ skydive.  The skydivers will descend from a height of 12,000 feet on the 25th June and contribute towards the team’s fundraising target of £75,000.

Simon Fisher, Cusromer Director at Unilever UK & Ireland, said: “Miles4Mel not only commemorates one of our great friends, Mel, who inspired so many of us, it also brings together colleagues to celebrate her life and raise funds for a great cause. This year we’ll be doing a variety of fundraising activities in and around the office, including yoga classes, bake sales and a quiz night. t’s also set to be a thrilling cycle with one of our colleagues aiming to complete the 180 miles ride on a ‘Boris Bike’!”

Commenting on the Unilever team’s fundraising efforts, Louise Newton, Charity Manager at Get A-Head said: “Mel was such a dedicated and inspirational fundraiser, and Miles4Mel has been a fantastic way of not only raising money, but raising awareness of this rare cancer. We are extremely excited to see an ever growing team of cyclists, and the team of skydivers from Unilever should make this the most successful Miles4Mel to date.”

The Miles4Mel team have raised £75,000 to date. If you would like to sponsor the team, please visit the Just Giving page for Miles4Mel

Photo by Pixabay