Commuters at Waterloo station rose to the challenge last week – but not by train.
The challenge, entitled Waterloo500, held on the concourse of Waterloo Station, captured the attention of passers-by, some friendly British Transport Policemen (pictured), and numerous members of BAM and Network Rail. They all hopped on one of two static cycles to pedal the fastest mile they could to raise money for CRASH, the construction industry’s charity for homeless people.
The competition was fierce however, commuter Andy Hudson held onto his pole position on the league table with an amazing time of 1 minute 54 seconds, not far off the world record of 1 minute 42 seconds although it should be noted that this record wasn’t set in the cold of a busy London rail station but in sunny California!
Andy said: “I guess I took part because it looked like a fun event. I’m familiar with the charity and know they do a lot of fantastic work across the country, so very happy to participate in anything connected with them. And I’m very proud to have managed the fastest time…just!”
The madcap exercise – hosted by Network Rail and contractor BAM Construction – raised over £1,750 for CRASH, which uses the skills and expertise of the construction industry to refurbish and renovate hostels and accommodation for frontline homelessness agencies across the UK.
“We would like to thank BAM Construction and Network Rail for organising such a fantastic event which really captured the imagination of the public,” said CRASH Development Manager Kate Marsh. “Every penny raised throughout this fun challenge will go to help homelessness projects across the UK.”
BAM Construction’s Eleanor Radville, said: “It was hugely generous of Network Rail to agree to this mad but fun challenge on their busy concourse, and to join in with the efforts. Passers-by loved the idea and were surprised but delighted by it. They put a lot of money in the buckets – we filled up nine – and both BAM and Network Rail are very grateful for the public’s generosity. Homelessness as a social issue has not gone away, and the work CRASH does changes lives.”
Special thanks also to Nuffield Health based near Waterloo Station for lending the two static bikes that were key to this challenge. A spokesperson for Nuffield Health said: “We are proud to be assisting BAM and Network Rail in their support of CRASH. We hope that the use of the Nuffield bikes goes some way to helping those in need get back on their feet.”
Surveyor Neil Russell won the men’s challenge for BAM by cycling the furthest distance in half an hour of all the men who took part – 13.8 miles, and administrator Lucy Lynch won the women’s challenge for BAM by cycling 9.2 mile during her half hour slot.
Over 40 BAM and Network Rail staff took part over the two days and they just managed to hit their 500-mile target with less than an hour to spare on the second day of cycling.
If you would like to support Waterloo 500 please see www.justgiving.com/Waterloo500 or text CYCL83 £5 to 70070. Every penny raised through this challenge will go to CRASH, the patron charity of BAM and Network Rail, which helps homeless people throughout the UK.