Builders' Merchants News
Donaldson’s employees set to cycle 2000km for charity
Published:  07 June, 2011

UK: Employees at timber specialist James Donaldson & Sons are counting down to a huge company event at the end of this month, as they set out to cycle 2000km (1223 miles) around the UK, by every operating branch within the Donaldson Group.

The gruelling cycle will go around all 23 branches of the Donaldson Group, from Kent in the South of England, up to Inverness, and back down the East of Scotland to finish in Fife, where the company was founded in 1860.

The cycle is being taken mostly as a relay challenge, with employees joining in to cycle their ‘leg’ of the tour, however retired Donaldson’s employee and non-executive director Alan Sinclair will be cycling the entire route in under three weeks!

Starting on 20 June, 26 valiant Donaldson employees and friends are taking part in the challenge as a relay, accompanying Mr Sinclair on his journey around the branches; starting at the Donaldson Timber Engineering branch in Ashford, Kent and finishing at the James Donaldson Timber sawmill in Leven, Fife.


The aim of the cycle is to raise £20 000 for Columba 1400, in connection with Donaldson’s company charity, the Donaldson Leadership Academy. Columba 1400 is a renowned social enterprise and charity, with a focus on young people who come from challenging backgrounds. Columba 1400 recognises the tough realities and restrictive environments in which many young people operate and the limited employment opportunities they face - these are often the young people who are the hardest to reach and those so often excluded.

Executive chairman of James Donaldson & Sons, Neil Donaldson comments: “Columba 1400's residential programmes, followed by ongoing support, are designed to give young people the strength and courage to find their own unique voice - and to use that voice to inspire the families and communities they return to. By raising money for this charity we are making a real and significant difference to a number of young people’s lives.

“We set up the Donaldson Leadership Academy to mark our 150th anniversary to aid Columba 1400 in their truly fantastic work, and having been involved in the charity and witnessed the work they do, it’s a cause very close to my heart, and one we are very passionate about within the company.

“My wife and I are signed up to cycle two legs between MGM Timber’s Glasgow branch and MGM’s Inverness branch, which is a substantial 100 miles (and mostly up-hill!). Along with the endurance test ahead of us all, cycling over 100 miles in the Scottish summer is certainly going to have many challenges along the way, with the changeable weather and swarms of midgeys – not to mention the saddle-soreness!! Any support people can offer for this experience would therefore be very much appreciated.”

If you would like to support the Donaldson Challenge, you can donate online through the ‘Just Giving’ page at where you can also see a video of how your money can make a difference to the young people involved.

The cycle takes in seven branches of Donaldson Timber Engineering, two branches of James Donaldson Timber, the Parker Kislingbury branch in Buckinghamshire, 13 branches and the head office of MGM Timber (Scotland), and the James Donaldson & Sons head office in Markinch, Fife.

Find out more:

Facebook: ‘Donaldson Challenge 2011


Twitter: @JDonaldsonGroup