Ipswich-based charity, The Soma Leo Foundation, has brought together local businesses to take part in a fun workplace challenge.

The Row-a-Fun Challenge, which begins today (1 May 2019), will see teams of 10 people from businesses in Ipswich and Colchester take to rowing machines, for the whole of May, competing against each other to row the farthest and raise money for the charity. Nine teams are participating from AXA, Concertus, Hiscox, Larking Gowen, Pound Gates and Prettys.

Funds raised from the Row-a-Fun will support The Soma Leo Foundation. Established in 2015, the charity provides education and support to disadvantaged communities in western Africa. This is achieved through the charity’s own school, The Soma Leo Academy, located in Nyiera, Kenya and by supporting other schools in nearby Osieko.

The event is organised by Pound Gates, whose directors, managers and staff are involved with the charity either as Trustees or by providing all of the administrative resources the charity requires. David Collins, Client Services Director at Pound Gates and Trustee for The Soma Leo Foundation said: “We’re really looking forward to the Challenge. We have 40 of our own staff involved, and another 50 people from local businesses. We hope to raise around £7,000 which will cover the costs of running the school for six months.”

The Row-a-Fun is supported by Suffolk’s Most Active County Partnership. Lynda Bradford, Head of Health Improvement for Suffolk Public Health commented: “We spend around 60% of our waking hours in the workplace so it’s sometimes difficult to build activity into daily life. It’s fantastic therefore to see local businesses creating opportunities for their staff to be active. We hope more businesses will develop initiatives like this. After all we know a fit and active workforce has a direct benefit on productivity.”

The Challenge can be followed on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (#beoarsome and #rowafun) and the league table will be updated at the beginning of each week. Find out more, along with details of how to support the teams at https://somaleo.org/row-a-fun.

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