Racing for the future

22 October 2018

Barclays’ annual cycling challenge – Wheels for Change – has now raised over £2 million for charity, the bank has revealed.

The fundraising event began in 2011 with a sponsored cycle ride from Edinburgh to London. The next year, 60 riders biked the 700 miles from Paris to Milan with later events organised in Singapore and across the UK. The ride’s format has since settled into a 100km “sportive” course centred on London’s Olympic velodrome, with cyclists in this year’s challenge – which raised funds for The Prince’s Trust – pedalling through swathes of the Essex countryside and part of a 2014 Tour de France stage.

Shane Hawkins, Managing Director, Barclays Technology, and the mastermind behind the event, said: “Wheels for Change is a colleague and community event. It’s about cycling, getting people away from their desk for a good cause, and getting to know each other. It’s just grown from strength to strength over the past seven years.”

This year, the 400 riders were asked to raise a minimum of £250 for The Prince’s Trust charity, that fundraising alongside corporate sponsorship from Addleshaw Goddard, Clifford Chance, Dell EMC, Eversheds Sutherland, Freshfields, and Nuffield Health saw more than £210,000 raised for the event. “It’s another fantastic effort”, says Hawkins. “It takes our funds raised for The Prince’s Trust alone to almost £1 million.”

The Prince’s Trust charity aims to “transform” the lives of young people by giving them the skills and confidence to earn and learn – an ambition that fits with Barclays’ wider support for access to employment for all.

A large group of cyclists celebrate their achievements

Tara Leathers, Deputy CEO at The Prince’s Trust – who attended last month’s ride – said: “All the money raised goes on projects for young people that will help them get themselves from probably quite a dark place in life to a place where they’re planning the future and have their first job.

“Those funds are working hard, changing lives, and just changing the way people feel about their futures.”

Looking back on seven years of successful events, Hawkins said: “There are a lot of people who’ve made Wheels for Change a success. There’s everyone who’s participated in 2018 and every year prior, and there’s a core group of about six or seven people who make this happen every year. They do this on top of their day job: it’s a fantastic effort and I would sincerely like to thank them.”


What they said – colleague reaction to Wheels for Change

“Every year you meet new people, new colleagues, and the camaraderie is fantastic out there.”

“I had some great colleagues towing me through the headwinds, so I kind of made camp behind them.”

“Fantastic charitable cause, and I was able to raise a decent amount of money.”

“I’m feeling really good. It was the third year for me and it’s a good opportunity to re-connect with some colleagues from different parts of the bank.”