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April Marathon

UM team of runners raises thousands for the Samaritans

Posted on 15 April, 2024

A seven-strong team from UM Group has raised thousands of pounds for the Samaritans by taking part in the Liverpool Half-Marathon.

The team consisted of Phil McEvoy, MD UM Terminals, Simon Markham, Head of Molasses GB, Mark Few, Operations Manager, James Robson, Control Room Operator, Jake Ellis, Maintenance Manager, Lewis Chambers, Supervisor and Emma Holding, Commercial Assistant.

Together, they raised £2,361 with a further £1,861 being allocated in match-funding by UM’s holding company W&R Barnett, making a grand total of £4,222.

For many of those taking part, this was the first time they had ever participated in an organised run, while for Simon and Phil it was part of their training for the London Marathon which takes place on Sunday, April 21.

The day was extra important because it was a chance for UM colleagues to remember their much-loved former colleague Lynn McCoy, who worked for many years in UM Terminals’ Client Central Services team.

Following the event, the seven runners, their families and colleagues joined with Lynn’s family for lunch at the Pump House pub on the city’s Albert Dock.

Phil said: “The weather was kind to us and it was great to get together with colleagues from different parts of the UM Group to run, to remember Lynn and to raise such a good amount for an extremely worthwhile cause.”

James said: “The closest I’d got to an event like this was a Santa dash in Liverpool about ten years ago. The thing that struck me most was how many spectators had come out to line the course and cheer on the runners. Because we had our names on our shirts, people were cheering us on when we came past them.”

Jake commented: “I used to like running in my early 20s but then started to struggle with my knees. This was the first time since then that I’d laced my running shoes up and I was just delighted to get round.”

Lewis added: “I’d never done anything like this before but had run 5k and 10k in training to get ready for the half-marathon. It was a great day and fantastic to have such amazing support while we were running."

Geraldine Carroll, UM Group’s HR Training & Office Manager, who attended the event with other UM colleagues, said: “One of the most enjoyable aspects was getting together with other members of the UM family, their partners, children and even a few pets to remember Lynn and raise a good amount for the Samaritans. There was a terrific atmosphere out on the course and some great internal rivalry between the UM runners!”

The money raised will support the work of the Samaritans of Liverpool and Merseyside, a charity that is there 365 days of the year, day or night, to help people who are struggling to cope.

The Liverpool branch of the Samaritans is the second oldest in the UK having been supporting people for over 60 years. The charity’s listening service is delivered entirely by over 130 dedicated volunteers along with a paid development manager and administrator.

Lynn McCoy was UM Terminals’ Client Central Services Manager and had worked for the company for over 30 years.

The UM Group is now set to begin The Great Molasses Challenge which will see colleagues across the Group join forces to raise tens of thousands of pounds for the charity Farm Africa.

The unique challenge aims to cover the distance of the first ever UM molasses shipment in 1912 – a total of 4820 miles (7712km) from the Dominican Republic to Hull – by June 9 this year.

In addition to Phil and Simon running the London Marathon, this Saturday Jake has organised for 15 UM colleagues and their families to walk up Moel Famau in North Wales.

While the fundraising campaign will raise as much money as possible for Farm Africa, it also forms part of the Group’s wider wellbeing initiative which seeks to promote the importance of physical and mental wellbeing.

The Challenge has been devised to make it easy for everyone at UM to get involved with every mile counting whether that is a short stroll on a lunch break, a weekend hike, a dog walk or something more organised like a half or full marathon.

The finishing times for the UM runners in the Liverpool Half-Marathon were:

Simon Markham – 1 hour 31 minutes

Jake Ellis - 1.57

James Robson - 2.00

Emma Holding - 2.06

Mark Few - 2.18

Lewis Chambers - 2.24

Phil McEvoy - 2.55

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