SMD staff go the extra mile for charity

SADDLE SORE: The SMD team which completed the 100km Hospice to Hospice cycle challenge from Devizes to Corfe Mullen in aid of Julia’s House, from left, Ben Pratten, Dan Williams, Joe Baker and Richard Hydes

Staff at SMD, the Poole-based steel firm shaping Britain’s skyline, have been spending the summer busily fundraising for a very worthy cause.

Teams of cyclists and walkers took part in gruelling challenges to raise cash for the company’s charity of the year – Julia’s House, the children’s hospice.

And their efforts have raised an incredible £2,000 for the hospice in Corfe Mullen which helps children with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions and their families.

An intrepid SMD team participated in the Hospice to Hospice Cycle, from Julia’s House in Corfe Mullen to the charity’s newly-refurbished Wiltshire hospice at Devizes.

Energetic foursome Dan Williams, Ben Pratten, Joe Baker and Rich Hydes covered 400km between them as they rode through the beautiful Dorset and Wiltshire countryside.

Assistant Commercial Manager Rich said: “It was hard work and draining, but absolutely worth it to raise cash to help pay for care for a poorly child at Julia’s House or perhaps respite for an exhausted mum or dad.

“There was no way I wasn’t going to complete the ride – and the same went for the rest of the team as we were all determined to get over that finish line and do our bit for people needing some help.”

A larger team of SMD staff got their walking boots on for the 26-mile Jurassic Coast Trek from Lulworth Cove to Studland along Dorset’s stunning Unesco World Heritage Coast.

The team, including Helen Rivero, Thomas Rigden, Philip McGeehan, Tracey Tynan, Keith Grange, Rosie Sharp, Jamie Turner, Jon Fleetwood and Ben Pratten, was among 350 people taking on the task.

Managing Director Ben said: “It was incredible challenge for everyone who took part. We were left with sore feet, aching hips and dodgy knees, but it was well worth it.”

In a separate charity effort SMD Site Operative Steve Baggott was part of a five-man team which raised more than £1,000 for ABF, The Soldiers’ Charity by completing the Cateran Yomp, a 54-mile team march, in 21 hours across the rugged terrain of the Scottish wilderness

He said: “The weather was horrendous which just made it so much harder, but there’s already talk of entering next year.”

SMD, celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, is one of few UK firms to manufacture and install steel decking.

The company has its HQ in Tower Park, Poole, bases in Leeds, Nottingham and Glasgow, plus a satellite office in Dubai and a design base in India.

The firm’s steel decking has been used in such iconic buildings as the Shard and the Olympic Park in London, Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium and terminals at Heathrow Airport.

The company, which has, was founded in Ringwood in 1987 and has carried out more than 200 construction projects locally, including the RNLI, Poole Bournemouth Airport, and Bournemouth University.

Structural Metal Decks (SMD) was founded in 1987 and is based in Poole, Dorset. It designs, manufactures and installs metal decking systems for projects across the world. It employs more than 100 people – some based in India and Dubai. SMD has worked on some of the world’s most iconic buildings, including the Shard and The Olympic Village in London and Manchester’s Etihad Stadium.

For more information contact Cliff Moore at Deep South Media on 01202 534487 or 07469158458 or Ed Baker at Deep South Media on 01202 534487 or 07788392965.