Douglas Anderson, a partner at Hymans Robertson, helped to raise over £125,000 for caring charities by cycling from London to Morocco. He was one of three normally desk-bound businessmen - an actuary, a lawyer, Douglas Armstrong, and a social media strategist, Campbell McDermid - who styled themselves as the Fat Dads on Bikes. For the numerically inclined, their 21-day marathon took them over 2,300 miles, a height gain equivalent to climbing Everest four times,
just three punctures and somewhere north of 300 croissants.
Anderson picks up the story, "Several people have asked me about my best bits. There were many to choose from: stunning scenery awash with great weather, many tasty ways to take on calories - there are so many good cheeses out there - several high adrenaline descents, but the best bit was all the warm messages of encouragement from supporters, many of whom were unknown to us. Not only did this lift our spirits when the going got tough, but it was so refreshing to get direct - and often almost instantaneous - audience reaction to the latest photo or blog. This is not the sort of engagement I have ever got when writing about the drier subjects of actuarial valuations, employee benefits or risk. The lovely feedback encourages me to spend more of my time encouraging more interactive communications with our firm's communities.
Our adventure started with 70 friends and family cycling with us from London to Paris, including a dozen from Hymans Robertson. When we were down to three, publishing our antics on Facebook grew a loyal following.
We were thrilled to receive over 1,500 individual donations for Maggie's Cancer Centres, the Children's Hospice Association of Scotland and Carers UK. We also supported Education for All, a charity that helps girls in remote parts of Morocco continue their studies. On reaching Marrakech we were delighted to meet some of the girls whose lives had already been changed for the better."
On his safe return Douglas said "I strive to use superlatives sparingly, but the Fat Dads' adventure probably merits one. Certainly my wife, Jill Harrison, said on my safe return that if I ever tried to pull a similar stunt she would reclaim her sponsorship and spend it on shoes. That had an air of finality about it."