Legal partner takes to the saddle

Epic cycle race helps raise funds for children’s hospital.

A thrill-seeking employee at legal firm Pinsent Masons has set the wheels in motion for his company’s fundraising efforts, after raising £3,000 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity.

In a bid to conquer a once-in-a-lifetime challenge for his office’s charity, partner Simon Laight flew to the Western Cape, South Africa, to tackle Cape Epic – a brutal, eight-day mountain bike race.

Cycling alongside his brother Matthew, the dad-of-three was inspired to pedal for pounds after being ‘bowled over’ by the care his sons have received at Birmingham Children’s Hospital over the years, including 16-year-old George, who fell cycling down-hill last year and broke his right shoulder.

The kind-hearted colleague was further determined to raise money in support of his co-worker Dan, whose son Theo required life-saving care as a result of a complex heart condition called Truncus Arteriosus.

Fifty-year-old Simon, from Edgbaston, said: “Cape Epic was incredibly testing and although I’m a keen cyclist, I’m also a middle-aged office worker and I’ve never cycled 435 miles in 42 degree heat before – but Matthew and I never gave up! We set out hoping to simply complete the challenge, but exceeded even our own expectations and placed halfway in our age category, which we still can’t believe!

“It was also tremendous how generous all of our clients, colleagues, friends and family were in supporting our fundraising efforts. I feel enormously privileged to have Birmingham Children’s Hospital on my doorstep. The hospital has always been there for my family and people like Dan rely on the hospital to hold everything together and help save lives, just like little Theo’s.”

Having kick-started its 2017 partnership with Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, Pinsent Masons has a whole host of fundraising events planned for the rest of the year, including its annual bike ride in the Warwickshire countryside, the Great Birmingham Run Half Marathon, Velo Birmingham and other office-based events.

The firm hopes to raise £10,000 to fund a list of items that will benefit patients all across the hospital, including those treated on the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, which looked after Dan’s son Theo.

Greg Lowson, Head of Office at Pinsent Masons Birmingham, said: “We’re incredibly excited to support such a fantastic charity this year and we’re so proud of Simon for kick-starting the partnership! We hope to raise as much as possible throughout 2017 whilst also engaging staff in volunteering opportunities, to help make the children’s lives at Birmingham Children’s Hospital that little bit easier.”

Louise McCathie, Director of Fundraising at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, added: “We’d like to say a massive thank you to our friends at Pinsent Masons for selecting us as their chosen charity for 2017. They are such an important business within the city and it’s inspirational to hear how the world-class care our hospital provides has inspired the team to fundraise.

“We’re incredibly grateful to Simon, as well as his co-workers, who have already conquered some phenomenal charity challenges. We look forward to the next few months of this truly remarkable partnership with Pinsent Masons, which will make a huge difference to the lives of our brave children and their families.”