Charity of the year

Norton Way Group Charity of the Year

We are very pleased to announce that MND Association has been chosen as the Norton Way Group Charity of the Year from September 2023 to September 2024. As a company we have decided to focus our fundraising efforts for one Charity of choice every year, and staff members will be able to apply for their chosen charities in future years.

For those of you that don’t know, The MND Association focuses on funding research, improving access to care and campaigning for people living with or affected by MND in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. They have over 11,000 members forming a powerful network that provides information and support for people with MND, their families and carers. They fund and promote research that leads to new understanding and treatments, and brings us closer to a cure. They campaign and raise awareness so the needs of people with MND are recognised and addressed by wider society. People with MND, their families and carers are at the heart of everything they do.

This year we are going to set the aim to raise £10,000 through a range of different fundraising events and we would love for our staff to get involved in this effort.

What is MND?

Motor neurone disease (MND) is a fatal, rapidly progressing neurological condition affecting more than 5,000 adults in the UK at any one time. The disease causes messages from nerves (motor neurones) in the brain and spinal cord that control movement to gradually stop reaching the muscles, leading them to weaken, stiffen and waste.

The result is that people become locked in a failing body, unable to move, talk and eventually breathe. Some may experience changes in thinking and behaviour, with a proportion experiencing a rare form of dementia. MND does not usually affect senses such as sight, hearing and touch.

MND kills a third of people within a year and more than half within two years of diagnosis. It affects people from all backgrounds and a person’s lifetime risk of developing MND around 1 in 300. Today six people will be diagnosed and six will die from MND. There is no cure.​

Charity of the year
Charity of the year

What events are confirmed so far?

We currently have two confirmed events for the group. The first is a Charity Clay Pidgeon Shooting Day that will be held at EJ Churchill Buckinghamshire Shooting Ground. The event will be attended by our corporate partners, suppliers, and a few internal teams, and the day will be hosted by our Managing Director, Jason Cranswick.

It will compromise of practice, tuition and a competition in the afternoon. Followed by a meal and raffle which will be our opportunity to raise funds for MND Association.

The event is planned to take place on the 11th October.

The second event is Tough Mudder West London, 18th May 2024. The course is at Culden Few, Fawley, Henley-on-Thames, and the team will consist of 10 employees from our group.

What will the raised funds help with?

Every penny we raise will help make a difference to people with MND and their families. We could help fund vital research to help find a cure, and help support people living with MND now.

Here are some examples of what the funds we raise will contribute towards:

· £30 – buys an adapted cutlery set to help someone with MND continue to feed themselves

· £100 – funds laboratory equipment for two days’ vital research into finding out the causes of MND

· £300 – provides a basic level of respite care for one day

· £1,500 – funds the installation of a straight stair lift for someone with MND to gain access around the house

· £3,500 – buys a light writer to give someone with MND the ability to continue to communicate with their loved ones

Our fundraising page

We will be keeping track of our fundraising efforts over the next 12 months on our Just Giving Page:

Please visit the page if you wish to find out more or to make a donation.

Why is raising money for MND important to me?

Head of Marketing, Ben Athow, had this to say about why the charity is important to him.

Sadly, in November 2022 my father-in-law, Mike, was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. At the point of his diagnosis, I knew very little about this horrible disease, apart from some famous figures that have suffered from it such as Stephen Hawkin and more recently ex Leeds Rhinos Rugby Player, Rob Burrow. After doing some further reading, I quickly released how cruel it truly is and the importance of supporting the MND Association due to their valuable work they do for people with MND and their families.

It is believed that my father-in-law has a slower form of the disease, but that being said, it’s now very visible the effects this disease is having on his body. The MND Association have been nothing short of amazing since his diagnosis, fitting the house with numerous aids for mobility, arranging several consultations and even helping with his voice banking that will be used if he loses his speech. He has even recorded a few stories that can be played by the machine for my daughter, so he doesn’t lose the opportunity to read his granddaughter her bedtime story.

Mike received his diagnosis after many GP and hospital visits due to suffering from pain in his mouth which on certain days left him unable to eat. Numerous doctors were unable to find a clear cause, and he was eventually referred to neurologist after losing his balance and slurring his speech. It was at this point he got diagnosed with MND.

Ever since the diagnosis my wife has been heavily fundraising for the MND Association, and she has been a true inspiration for the lengths she is going to raise awareness, funds and support for her father and other people living with MND. Jenny has now completed two marathons, starting in April at the Manchester Marathon and concluding at the Rob Burrow Marathon in Leeds just four weeks later.

I am sure you have seen the emotional clips from this marathon as Kevin Sinfield carried his friend, Rob Burrow, over the finishing line after pushing him around the course for 26 miles. I was in the stadium at the time, and I don’t think the power of friendship has ever been more apparent and their efforts on the day were simply phenomenal. Kevin Sinfield has been the spearhead of MND fundraising efforts in recent years, he has now raised over £2.5 million for the charity, from events including 7 Marathons in 7 Days, 101-mile run in 24 hours, and most recently 7 ultra marathons in 7 days. Jenny and I have a huge amount of admiration for what Kevin has done for the MND community, and I couldn’t think of a better candidate for a Knighthood on this year’s honours list.

Now that Jenny has completed two marathons, I am keen to do my part to help with fund-raising for the MND Association. A few weeks ago, I proposed the idea of having a charity of the year for Norton Way Group, and Jason has kindly agreed to join the fund-raising efforts for the MND community. I would like to personally thank Jason and Norton Way Group for supporting this amazing charity and I am looking forward to the challenge of doing everything I can to make this a success.

As a family we take comfort from the work and fundraising efforts of people across the country that one day a cure will be found, and we won’t stop helping this amazing charity until that day!

(Written By Ben Athow)