Fifty staff prepare for army endurance event

Babcock staff in training

FIFTY staff members from defence company, Babcock International Group (Babcock) will participate in one of Scotland’s toughest endurance challenges next month.

Seven teams from Babcock, the headline sponsor of this year’s Cateran Yomp, will join over 1,000 soldiers, veterans, and their families marching up to 54 miles in 24 hours across Highland Perthshire. The annual event raises much-needed funds for the Army Benevolent Fund (ABF), the Army’s national charity.

This year’s event falls just two days after the 80th anniversary of D-Day and also coincides with the charity’s 80th anniversary.

Heading off at 6am on Saturday 8 June, returning to Blairgowrie in the early hours of Sunday 9 June, the Babcock participants, aged 21 to 60, range from engineers, graduates and delivery managers to lecturers, training staff and administrators.

Based around the country, from Rosyth to Portsmouth, they will be divided into seven teams, including The Unstoppables, Team Babcock Grads and Team Crucible.

Army veteran Alastair Field is Collective Training Solutions Manager based at Babcock’s Portsmouth office.

A member of Team Crucible, he said, “I served in Afghanistan with 2 Rifles as a Company Commander in 2009 on a very demanding tour. We sustained numerous injuries and tragically people died. The Army Benevolent Fund (ABF) played a crucial role in supporting many of the injured Riflemen and their families.  Helping the ABF provide some additional funds to continue their great work is one of my main motivating factors for completing the Cateran Yomp.”

Meanwhile, Jennifer Watt, Group Project Management Graduate based at Babcock, Rosyth added, “I am always looking for a challenge, what better way to do that than participating for such a good cause. It is vital at Babcock we acknowledge and support those in the armed forces, and their families. This is my personal way of showing my own support as a Babcock employee, while rising to a challenge with like-minded colleagues to promote the cause and inspire others to do their part for charity and make a difference. I really enjoy hiking and walking in my free time, but have increased my distance over the past few weeks and look forward to taking on this physically and mentally demanding experience.”

Harry Whiteley, Senior Events Manager (Challenges), Army Benevolent Fund said, “We are hugely grateful for securing Babcock as headline sponsor but, on top of that, it is wonderful to see the wider Babcock community getting behind the event in such significant numbers. To have 50 of their staff signed up and raring to go is a fantastic effort. We wish every single participant the very best of luck and very much look forward to meeting them out on the route.”

In addition to the Cateran Yomp, Babcock is sponsoring the ABF’s Operation Bletchley, tasking participants with a series of codebreaking challenges where they tackle testing codes, explore the great outdoors and uncover a secret message to deliver to Winston Churchill before time runs out. 

Since its launch, the Cateran Yomp has raised over £4M for the Army’s National Charity.   Last year’s event raised £300,000 for soldiers, veterans and their families, with 1200 participants travelling from across the UK and around the world. Looking to the future, the Cateran Yomp team hopes to raise £1M each year to match the growing need for support from soldiers, veterans and their families in Scotland.

As well as Babcock, this year’s event is sponsored by Arnold Clark.

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