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Team put best foot forward a million times for charity

A team of colleagues at UK Power Networks have each clocked up a remarkable million steps inside three months to raise funds for charity.

From Press releases - 23 June 2017 12:00 AM

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The four employees at the company which owns and operates the electricity networks in the East of England, London and the South East, all achieved the milestone to ensure a £1,000 donation for the Alzheimer’s Society.

The Walk a Million Steps challenge was launched by UK Power Networks at the start of March as part of its wider safety, health and environment campaign ‘We Do What Matters’.

The team from the Connections side of the business consisting of Aaron Eaton, Kay Cumby, Simon Waller and Bonnie Mack were the first where every member reached the million step landmark. Various teams were set up from directorates across the business with new ones still being formed this month.

Progress is tracked via an app with teams tweeting and facebooking to spur each other on to make great strides. Kay Cumby was the first individual in the company to reach the target tally.

Kay, an engineering assistant based in Norwich, said: “I was proud to be the first person to reach a million. I remember actually reaching the million, I was on the last day of my holiday on the beach in Fuerteventura.

“I go running every morning anyway, but did extra steps during my lunch break. Keeping a tally of steps becomes a bit addictive. The most I ran up in one day was more than 60,000.”

Bonnie Mack, a commercial analyst based in the Maidstone office, said: “I was the last of the four of us to reach the million steps, so there was probably a bit of pressure on me at the end, but I have got so much out of this.

“The motivation of adding more steps encouraged me to join a beginners’ group at my local running club and I will keep that going as a hobby now because I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ve never really been that into fitness before, but running has become part of my routine.”

Simon Waller, lead design engineer, based at UK Power Networks West Ham office, said: “About a year ago I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes so I was trying to lose weight and get fitter before the opportunity to join the steps challenge came around. I was delighted to join in when it did as I enjoy walking as a fantastic way to unwind.

“I live in Welling which is nine miles from my office in West Ham, but I took to walking to work as much as possible. It took two-and-a-half hours door to door, but I felt fine doing it, the odd day I even did it there and back. I have lost two stone in weight during the challenge and while the million steps target has been reached now, I still aim to do 12,000 steps a day because I feel so much better for it.”

Aaron Eaton, a lead health and safety advisor based in the Colchester office, said: “It seems like a staggering number of steps to walk, but it’s amazing how quickly it builds up. I was doing around 15,000 steps a day and really feeling the health benefits.

“I live in Ipswich, but work in Colchester so couldn’t walk to walk, so what I did was walk at work: whenever I took a call on the mobile I would walk around as I spoke to colleagues. The most important thing is to look for every opportunity to be active while at work.”

Suleman Alli, Director of Safety, Strategy and Support Services, said: “The idea of the Walk a Million Steps challenge was to promote well-being and offer a fun way of highlighting the importance of everybody thinking about keeping active during the day and walking more often when possible.

“We have had a great take-up from people across the business and it is fantastic that the end result is money going to the Alzheimer’s Society to help fund research bolstering the work we are already doing at UK Power Networks to raise awareness of dementia.”