After being moved by the stories of young people bravely rebuilding their lives after traumatic experiences, Leonardo employees have raised a total of £62,652 for Harmeny Education Trust over the course of their three-year partnership that concluded recently.
Leonardo’s hardy fund-raisers proved their mettle – walking over hot coals to raise money for Harmeny.
Over £62,000 raised
People working at Leonardo trekked to Everest Base Camp, abseiled, cycled hundreds of miles and even completed a firewalk to boost their fundraising.
When Covid-19 hit in March 2020, Leonardo stood by Harmeny, not only providing urgently needed PPE but also continuing their fundraising via online quizzes. Some employees also donated the money they would normally spend on coffees and their daily commute when they began working from home. Employees completed a virtual Kiltwalk in 2020 and 2021 that was the equivalent of walking up all 282 Munros.
Scorched soles but smiles all round for the Leonardo firewalkers.
The three-year partnership was extended from the original 2-year period to counterbalance the impact of the pandemic on fundraising. In the concluding weeks of the partnership which ended in April 2022, Craig Morrey and a team of his friends trekked to Everest Base Camp at 5364m while Leonardo cyclists Iain Scott, Tony Innes and Steve Carter completed the Scottish Etape racing 100km round Loch Ness in the Highlands.
Neil Squires, Harmeny’s Chief Executive said: ““The support of Leonardo has been amazing. Despite Covid they have continued to find inventive ways to support the charity and have given over 200 hours of volunteer support to our events, education programme and estate. We hugely appreciate all they have done and, together, we will ensure that some of Scotland’s most remarkable children get the spaces, support and opportunities they need to thrive.”
Craig Morrey reached a new height in fundraising when he hiked to Mount Everest Base Camp.
Funds raised to support the appeal and on-going activities
£50,000 will help build a new Outdoor Centre and Learning Hub, creating much needed space and increased opportunities for changing the lives of young people at Harmeny and within the local community. The remaining £12,000 has funded ongoing activities, such as days out and education sessions for the children.
Inspiring the engineers of the future
Since the start of Leonardo’s partnership with Harmeny, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) Ambassadors Seamus Somerville, James Lea and Jonah Howard have created carefully tailored STEM activities to build the children’s confidence and sense of their future career potential. This has included fun animations to explain radar technology, infrared images to illustrate the infrared spectrum, and rocket bottles to demonstrate propulsion.
Beyond the vocational value of their work, the team has built relationships of trust with the children that has grown over the years and has boosted the children’s faith in people as well as their future.
“When they started, a lot of the kids struggled with worrying about feeling they’d failed at a task. If something went wrong they would get upset and need to be calmed down. As time went on, we explained that being an Engineer is all about learning from failure, and that failure is part of growth – accepting it and learning how can we fix it and go again. Seeing their understanding of this and progress and development is very rewarding.”
Leonardo employees also donated their time – helping maintain Harmeny’s estate and community garden.
Whether working as STEM Ambassadors or fundraising for the charity, people working at Leonardo have felt they have grown through their association with the charity.
“I think once we visited the facilities and saw their work at close hand, we felt inspired, not only to raise funds, but to actively support the remarkable children to help build their confidence and believe in their potential for the future. Many of our teams have told us how they have felt enriched by the experience of knowing them.”
John Weitzen, Chair of Leonardo’s Charity Committee in Edinburgh
Help us reach our appeal target through fundraising at work
If you’d like to get your business involved in the Learning for Life Appeal then please get in touch.
Every pound raised will bring us closer to our £3.1m target. We need to reach our target by the autumn to ensure that some of Scotland’s most remarkable young people get the support and opportunities they need to thrive. Your support will enable young people to learn at Harmeny for longer and will enable us to expand our reach and provide day learning programmes for more young people in our wider community through the build of a new Learning Hub.