July 20, 2024

Cycling Cemcor quartet take on six counties in six days

Four CEMCOR employees are swapping hard hats for cycling helmets as they aim to cycle over 500 miles across the six counties in Northern Ireland in as many days, to raise funds for Air Ambulance NI.

After needing the vital Air Ambulance services in 2023 following a mountain biking accident where he sustained a fractured back, CEMCOR employee John Sinnamon experienced first hand how important the lifesaving service is. Joined by three other CEMCOR colleagues David Cuddy, Sam Lee and Graeme Barnes, the quartet are pushing themselves outside of their comfort zones to raise crucial funding in a challenge which would be difficult to any seasoned cyclist.

The Cookstown-based cement production business has invested heavily in the local area, charities, sports teams and schools since acquiring Lafarge Ireland in 2022 and rebranding to CEMCOR. With community engagement a huge part of the successful business, CEMCOR has an official partnership with Air Ambulance, as well as an open door policy for its 112 employees to pitch good causes and charitable fundraisers.

CEMCOR Managing Director, David Millar said: “Our local engagement and support is so important to us at CEMCOR. As a business we operate globally but we never lose sight of what support we can provide to those within our community. We encourage all our staff to come to forward with ideas around fundraising just as John, David, Sam and Graeme have done. We are incredibly proud of our team and wish them all the best through their training and the six day challenge itself.”

Shift Supervisor at CEMCOR, John Simmons said: “Understanding first-hand what an important service the Air Ambulance is, I was delighted my colleagues and employer were so supportive in helping me give back to those who came to my rescue last year.”

“This challenge may seem a little steep, but when you learn that every single day in Northern Ireland, two individuals find themselves in critical need of AANI and the fact it costs £6,850 per day and £2.5million per year to keep AANI operational, it was a no-brainer to get involved,” Control Room Operator at CEMCOR, Graeme Barnes continued.

The team of four, known as ‘The Flyn Lions’, will train hard over the next few months through all weather conditions in order to be ready to set off on the six-day cycle from CEMCOR on Sunday 25th August 2024.

Damien McAnespie, Air Ambulance NI Fundraising Manager, said, “This is a huge challenge the team at CEMCOR are undertaking in order to raise vital funds and awareness. The charity Air Ambulance, in partnership with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, provides the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) for the region. The service brings urgent medical assistance to anywhere in the province, operating seven days a week for 12 hours per day. The HEMS team attend patients who are seriously ill or injured, bringing emergency pre-hospital care direct to the casualty with the aim of saving lives, brains and limbs.  The aircraft can reach anywhere in Northern Ireland in approximately twenty-five minutes.

As a local charity, Air Ambulance NI aspires to raise £2.5million each year to maintain and sustain this service so public donations are crucial. We encourage everyone to support the efforts of the CEMCOR team as they prepare to undertake this 6-day fundraising challenge – it is not only our medical team who saves lives but those who support our service.”

To support ‘The Flyn Lions’ and other CEMCOR employee fundraisers for Air Ambulance NI, please visit: www.justgiving.com/page/the-flyin-lions.