R-Tour...70 cyclists, 10 days, 900 miles

R-Tour...70 cyclists, 10 days, 900 miles
11 July 2019

This summer, a group of nearly 70 cyclists from across the Ricardo Group will be taking part in an epic journey that will visit all our UK sites, starting in Glasgow and ending in Cambridge over 10 days in July 2019…that journey is named R-Tour.

Our vision is to:

  • Promote and engage all UK Ricardo staff in our wellbeing agenda.
  • Live our vision to travel sustainably.
  • Support our company position as the leading authority on air quality and vehicle emissions management.
  • Raise money for a national charity aligned with our company values.

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Why are we doing this? The idea for R-Tour came about whilst a few of our Harwell team were on one of the now regular cycle outings around the South Oxfordshire countryside. At the time one of our team, Ian, was just a few months in to tackling some mental health challenges. I’ll hand over to him to explain…

"Unlike a physical injury or illness, it is not easy to see when mental health affects people or is fixed. In truth, it probably never is fixed, it is just better managed. I’ve had challenges with my own mental health and pleased to say I’m in control t the moment, and enjoying life – my family, friends, work and community. I’m also cycling again, which is a core part of my ‘care package’.

Ricardo has supported me through a really tough time, but not everyone is as lucky as I have been and others (outside our company) may not get the help they need. That’s why I wanted to do something for Mind – the mental health charity and initiated the R-Tour charity cycle ride. Let’s get help to others struggling with mental health problems before it becomes too late for them"

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We spoke with Tim Curtis, MD of Energy & Environment, who will be driving the support van between Leamington & Harwell, here is what he said:

“It does not matter if you are a cyclist or not, the evidence is irrefutable on how exercise and participating in group activities can boost our physical and mental well-being. That’s why we wanted to deliver this event for the fantastic staff across Ricardo, bringing people together, promoting wellbeing and supporting a national charity while doing so.

I am looking forward to meeting all the riders on the Leamington to Harwell leg, during which I will be driving the support van. But I have a few thank you’s that can’t wait until then:

  • Firstly, thank you for participating in R-Tour. Without you signing up and doing your fund raising, we would not be able to achieve the aims of this event.
  • Thank you to Ceratizit for their sponsorship of the event, the goody bags for all riders, hospitality in Sheffield and for the support to our event organisers.
  • Thank you to Cycle2Work who have helped many of our staff to ‘get on their bikes’ with tax free bicycles and have made a generous donation of cycling equipment to keep R-Tour rolling.

Enjoy the ride!”

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And finally, Steph Rew, who wants to remind you all of why we take this so seriously: 

“The wellbeing of employees is an important part of Ricardo being a world leading company and an employer of choice. The wellbeing support and services available to all staff are rapidly expanding and delivering benefit to employees at all levels and across many life aspects, including mental health. As HR Director for Energy & Environment, I have seen the impact our Employee Assistance Programme has had for many staff, providing the incredibly important ‘in the moment’ support that can be hard to reach otherwise.

The mental health statistics in the UK are literally life shattering.

Mind state that approximately 14 million people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year: that’s 1 in 4 people, touching every family, workplace and friendship group. Depression is now the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide and, sadly, 17 people in the UK take their own lives each day (the single largest cause of death for people aged between 20-34 years old).

Within Ricardo, we are delighted to be training some employees to be Mental Health First Aiders, to help us support you and our whole business. This will work alongside the Employee Assistance Programme, access to Mindfulness resources, a rolling programme of improving the working environment and supporting healthy working lives through things like the Cycle2Work scheme. This helps us to provide  a truly holistic wellbeing package,

R-Tour will give us the chance to continue that wellbeing conversation with all our colleagues.

Thank you all.”

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