Fundraisers complete charity of the year campaign with over two million steps for Andy’s Man Club

Pictured at The Deep Business Centre are some of Vizion Network team who supported the fundraising in aid of Andy’s Man Club. From left: Tony Hall, Jannette Kelly, Samantha Rothery (all from Vizion Network), Leon McQuade of Think Cloud and Andy’s Man Club, and Julija Mislakina and Garry Smith of Vizion Network.

Fundraisers at the UK’s biggest motor repair management company have been stepping out in style to put the finishing touches to a year-long campaign in aid of a Yorkshire-based charity set up to tackle the stigma around male mental health.

The team of five at the Hull headquarters of Vizion Network set out to complete more than a million steps during December and ended up more than doubling their target.

The money from their effort will be added to cash raised by colleagues who also doubled their money in support of Andy’s Man Club, a neighbour of Vizion Network’s at The Deep Business Centre in Hull.

Vizion Network employs over 230 people including around 120 in its offices at The Deep Business Centre, which is also home to Think Cloud, a specialist cyber security and managed IT provider where one of the directors, Leon McQuade, founded Andy’s Man Club in Hull.

After becoming aware of Andy’s Man Club, the Vizion Network team selected it as their charity for 2022 with an initial fundraising target of £1,000.

Samantha Rothery, a member of the Vizion Network events team, said: “We have had raffles, a bake-off, Halloween fancy dress, a World Cup sweep and more. Even before the end of December we’d raised more than £2,000 – not including the money from the steps challenge.

“We’ve always been big on organising events to raise funds for charity and we’re really pleased to have more than doubled our target for a charity which we didn’t even know was a neighbour in our building when we started.”

Tony Hall revealed that he was motivated to take on the steps challenge after hearing via social media of someone else completing 300,000 steps.

He said: “I thought that was quite an achievement but I was confident we could do at least a million. We’ve got five people in our team and our target was to do between 300,000 and 500,000 each.”

Tony and his colleagues counted up the steps by taking to the streets of Hull before and after work, and when Julija Mislakina went on a trip to New York and Toronto she took her step counter with her.

Tony said: “It was a very hard challenge but we all managed to get there. We completed 2,345,000 steps altogether and raised an amazing amount of more than £700.”

Freya Cross, Head of Business and Corporate at The Deep, said: “Think Cloud have been organising a branch of Andy’s Man Club since before they moved into the Business Centre in 2019. I’m really impressed by the work that Andy’s Man Club is doing and by the way Vizion Network have literally stepped up to help and have more than doubled their original target.

“We’ve also made contributions from our own programme of fundraising events which has attracted the support of other clients in the Business Centre.”

Andy’s Man Club was founded in Halifax in 2016 and Leon said the contributions from Vizion Network and other supporters have helped the charity build a nationwide network of nearly 120 centres.

There are eight in the Hull and Humber area as well as two branches of the First Ladies Club, launched in 2021 as a spin-off where women can open up about issues that are troubling them.

Leon, who is now a director and trustee of the charity, said: “Andy’s Man Club was set up to try and make sure no family has to experience the devastation caused by death by suicide. The local community has been amazing and we continue to get more support which enables us to operate more clubs and help more people.

“We now have more than 700 facilitators and during November we helped about 2,500 men every week. It’s an incredible, inspirational achievement by Vizion Network and it’s not just about money – it’s about awareness and signposting.

“Vizion Network is a good example of a business which can help us spread the word about Andy’s Man Club because it has a strong presence in Hull but also operates across other sites.

“It’s important to build a national network because people don’t stay in the same place. People from Hull travel to work all over the country, people come from far and wide to work in Hull and they all know they can get the same Andy’s Man Club experience and support wherever they are.”

To find out more about Andy’s Man Club visit http://www.andysmanclub.co.uk/

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