by Doug Gillan (Head of HR - Beko PLC)

I guess we all wonder occasionally how best to shed those pounds (Lbs rather than £!), particularly after festivities and for us that was no different after the excesses of Christmas and the New Year.

At Beko PLC we had the ideal opportunity recently having established a partnership with Barnardo’s, one of the UK’s leading charities supporting disadvantaged families and especially children.

In the lead up to Christmas we had a brainwave at one of our Charity Committee meetings. How about a cycle race from London to Istanbul as a way to get people back to fitness, involved with a good cause and raising valuable sponsorship ? Why not? After all we are a Turkish owned Company, It’s a lovely place to visit and it would be great way to raise funds for a good cause. It’s also only  1940 miles away (3120km) – a piece of cake!


I have to admit I was sceptical at first and I should clarify this was a “virtual” cycle race using gym style spin cycles, but hey, when you are riding hard on one of the most uncomfortable modes of transport imaginable and staring blankly at a Beko showroom or office wall or counting dials on a Leisure cooker, why not let your imagination run away with you?!

Well we did it and the support from right across the business has been amazing. This event which took just over 3 weeks was not only great fun, but generated some very healthy camaraderie, team spirit and competetive rivalry across all the interdepartmental teams that took the plunge. I’d recommend a similar physical challenge to any part of the business looking to achieve the same aims (China to Istanbul may be just that bit too far!).

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in making this challenge such a success. To the Charity Committee: Jo Colley, Debbie Topping, Sharon Beeston, Simon O’Dell, Fosen Kefas and Stacey Smith, thank you for your enthusiasm and support in the set up. To all the members of the seven teams that took part captained by: Aysha Jaffer, Matt Williams and Robert Soughton in Watford, Steve Watkins and Lee Duffy in Birmingham, Ian Collins and Shane Kelly in Ireland. Also a big thank you to all Beko PLC staff who generously donated raising £2,000 towards this excellent cause. So far through this challenge and a range of other events (some more energetic than others) we have raised over £6,000 on behalf of Barnardos.


Congratulations to everyone, in particular the winning team “Beko Spinners” who led by Aysha Jaffer won the challenge, completing the equivalent 1940 miles in 3 weeks and one day. As with all the teams doing this in their own time outside office hours.
Ragip Balcioglu with Beko Spinners: Aysha Jaffer, Aaron Phillips, Michelle Hrano, Merja Ronkko, Jean Fitt, Caroline Latham, Will Mushamba, Harjinder Bhamrah, Jason Clarke-Earnscliffe, Simon O’Dell.


The Beko Barnardos relationship is continuing to blossom and through a number of other initiatives supported by staff such as quiz nights, cake bakes and other sponsored challenges  like Simon O’Dell from our Facilities team doing the Three Peaks Challenge (climbing 3 of the UK’s highest mountains in 24 hours) in May and Sarah Marsh from Supply Chain planning to do either the Inca Trail or Mount Kilimanjaro later in the year, we are progressing well towards our target of raising £50,000 this year through support from staff and from the Company. Keep it up everyone, well done and great job.


Doug Gillan
Head of HR