This week saw the first participants completing the Starting Blocks Challenge, among them Jon McAlister from Baker Mallett. Everyone at Dame Kelly Holmes Trust would like to say a huge thank you to Jon, who completed his challenge on his bike, raising over £400 for Dame Kelly Holmes Trust in the process.

For his Starting Blocks Challenge, Jon decided to cycle from his home in Wigan to Manchester, where his journey with Baker Mallett began, and back home again, a total of 60 miles. We caught up with Jon a few days after his challenge to find out why he decided to take it on and how the day went:

"When Baker Mallett first signed up to be a partner and I saw the work that the Trust do, it was a no-brainer to get involved. You can see that lots of young people benefit from the work the Trust do and hearing how the Trust works made me want to get involved.

For my challenge, I decided to go back to Manchester where my journey with Baker Mallett began, it was here that I had my first interviews for my job. If I wasn't working for Baker Mallett I probably wouldn't have heard about the work the Trust do so it made sense to me to go back there for my challenge.


On the right road and then Homeward bound!

The day itself was a real mixture of emotions, it was amazing to do, I was very proud of what I did on the day. Doing it on my own made it a real personal challenge, as I was on my own I had plenty of opportunity to think about what I was doing and who I was doing it for. I really enjoyed the day and I would do it again in a heartbeat! It was really quite emotional at points, knowing that you’ve achieved a challenge and raised money that will benefit people in the long run. In the last few miles my legs went and I was struggling a bit but thinking of the people I was helping and those that sponsored me helped me get through to the end.

I was really keen to engage with people during the journey so I posted on LinkedIn and swapped messages with people who contacted me throughout the day. It was great that many of the people who sponsored me have been part of my journey with Baker Mallett, it all just seemed to come together on the day.

The welcome home at the end of the journey.

Now I've finished my challenge, the next step is to 'pass the baton' on at work to other people and some of our friends and key contacts within the construction industry to encourage them to get involved and raise awareness of the great work Dame Kelly Holmes Trust does."

Baker Mallett have joined Dame Kelly Holmes Trust as Silver Partners for the Starting Blocks Challenge. A Starting Block is the person, place or moment that inspired you to become who you are today. We'd like you to get sponsored to run, walk, swim or ride the distance back to where your story started and go back to give back.