Two colleagues who served on the frontline together have successfully completed a gruelling charity challenge to raise funds for the region’s veterans.
Installation Engineer Aaron Huntley and Infrastructure Engineer Ian Midgley were part of a 20-strong team of employees from rural broadband specialist Quickline Communications who took on the Yorkshire Three Peaks at the weekend.
The pair helped raise more than £3,500 for Hull 4 Heroes, Quickline’s charity of the year.
Hull 4 Heroes offers practical support to veterans and their families and helps those who have served in the military to transition more easily back into civilian life, including providing homes, training and employment opportunities.
Aaron and Ian served together in the 1st Battalion the Royal Yorkshire Regiment for 10 and 14 years respectively, with Ian reaching the rank of Lance Corporal and Aaron becoming a Corporal.
They served together in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as taking part in numerous other missions across the world, while Aaron also served in Kosovo.
Together with their Quickline colleagues, they conquered Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough in the 24-mile round-trip Yorkshire Three Peaks route, which includes 1,585 metres of ascent.
Aaron, who joined Quickline in October last year, said: “Ian and I have been friends for a long time, we served together, and it was brilliant completing this challenge with him and the rest of the Quickline team.
“The work Hull 4 Heroes does is phenomenal and a big help to those who have only known military life for such a long time. Being a civilian is a completely different world and the charity is there to help with that.
“This challenge was about getting everyone round the route as a team and making sure we didn’t leave anyone behind.”
Ian, who joined Quickline in January, said: “I was used to walking up and down mountains, but I hadn’t done anything like this since I was in the Army in 2016.
“When I left the Army, I had a good plan and support network behind me but not everyone has that. Hull 4 Heroes is making a massive difference to ex-military personnel and their families as many don’t know where to turn or what to do.
“Completing this challenge was a great team building exercise for a brilliant cause.”
Part of Quickline’s recruitment strategy is focused on employing veterans and Quickline recently attended a recruitment day at Catterick Barracks in North Yorkshire during a British Forces Resettlement Services event.
Quickline team members also attended the official opening of Hull 4 Heroes’ new drop-in centre at Princes Quay Shopping Centre in Hull earlier this year.
All colleagues are given two days per year to participate in charity or community-based work which includes Hull 4 Heroes, and a donation to Hull 4 Heroes is made for every new starter employed by Quickline.
The Yorkshire Three Peaks charity challenge comes after 20 Quickline staff raised £2,000 for Hull 4 Heroes in the Tough Mudder Yorkshire challenge last year and also donated more than 100 Easter eggs to the charity to distribute through the Hull 4 Heroes food bank this year.
The company also collected goods for another food bank donation to mark World Hunger Day at the end of March.
Claire Hickey, Quickline’s HR Director who also leads the company’s charity committee, said: “When selecting a local charity to support, we involve all the Quickline team in the process.
“It’s very clear that Hull 4 Heroes is a cause close to the hearts of many of our colleagues, as some are ex-military themselves and others have family members and friends who have served.
“We’re really proud of the Quickline team on their completion of the Three Peaks challenge in what were quite difficult weather conditions.”
Paul Matson, Founder of Hull 4 Heroes, said Quickline’s support is much needed as demand for the charity’s support continues to rise.
He said: “We’ve jumped up from helping between five and seven veterans avoid homelessness in one year to 47 last year. The amount of work we need to do is increasing all the time.
“I’d like to say a massive thank you to Quickline. They’ve been amazing and without their support we couldn’t do what we do.”