Incredible two-year charity challenge sees VEKA staff push themselves to the limit in memory of much-loved colleague

February 8, 2022

Staff at VEKA plc spent two years completing challenges ranging from charity car washes to 7,000-mile walks to raise money in memory of a much-loved colleague. Jake Turner (23) died in September 2019, just a matter of months after being diagnosed with a rare type of cancer that affects only two in one million people. He had joined the Rossendale Road business as an apprentice in September 2016, completing his apprenticeship in July 2019 to become a full-time Technical Product Engineer.

A popular, and highly-respected, member of the VEKA family, his death sent shockwaves across the entire organisation.

As a way of paying their respects, staff chose Young Lives vs Cancer as VEKA’s annual charity in recognition of the support they offered Jake during his treatment.

After 2021 was thrown into disarray by the pandemic, the decision was taken to stretch fund-raising out across two years resulting in a final total of £10,532; funds that will now be handed over to the charity to help them continue the incredible work they do.

Joe Burns, Young Lives vs Cancer senior fundraising and engagement manager, said: “Thank you so much to everyone at VEKA for their incredible support over the last few years, in memory of Jake.

“It’s been fantastic to hear of fundraising plans and activities, and amazing to see so much raised even during a pandemic! The money raised really does and will make a big difference towards our work supporting children and young people with cancer, so thank you to everyone at VEKA who helped to raise such a wonderful sum.”

One of the biggest challenges undertaken was a mammoth VEKA UK to VEKA Argentina virtual walkathon, which saw intrepid trekkers marching around Burnley and the surrounding area, in all conditions, as they collectively looked to smash a gruelling 6,929.83-mile target. And smash it they did, walking a grand total of 9.359.39 miles.

Tool Maintenance Technician Ian Cocks ran straight through the pain barrier when he completed an energy-sapping 100km ultramarathon, raising £852 in the process.

Other challenge highlights included a bake sale, raffle draw, and directors and senior managers swapping their laptops for sponges at the VEKA charity car wash.

VEKA managing director Neil Evans said: “Jake was a much-loved member of the VEKA family, and he will certainly never be forgotten.

“When we chose Young Lives vs Cancer as our charity of the year, we wanted to go above and beyond in order to support the remarkable work they do, which is why we had no hesitation in carrying on fundraising for a second year.

“I would like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to all the members of staff who, literally, went that extra mile, and every single person who contributed to our final total.”

< Back to news