First Names Group stood out from the crowd at this year’s Manx Telecom Parish Walk with our prize-winning feed station in aid of local beach cleaning charity, Beach Buddies.
For the second year running, our Isle of Man business sponsored one of the feed stations at the annual 85-mile endurance challenge, supporting walkers with much-needed encouragement and refreshments.
The theme of the 2018 Parish Walk was ‘recycling’, which led our First Names to think of the global problem of marine litter and the island’s beautiful beaches. The team were aware of the valuable work done by Beach Buddies in clearing the Isle of Man’s coastline and decided to use the Parish Walk sponsorship as an opportunity to raise awareness of the charity and its cause.
The beach-themed station offered participants water, sweets and cocktail sausages and included posters promoting Beach Buddies. In addition, the charity provided a unique rubbish bin for the occasion – the open-mouthed head of a basking shark sculpted out of reclaimed plastic bottles – which sat a short distance beyond the feed station, allowing walkers to dispose responsibly of their bottles and wrappers once they were finished with them.
In recognition of our team's efforts and cause, we were awarded the prize for the best feed station at the event. Leading the initiative was our Senior Operations Manager in the Isle of Man, Andy Finch. He said:
“This was our second time sponsoring the Parish Walk and this year we wanted to ramp things up and make a real impact. Beach Buddies is a fantastic charity doing great work to ensure litter is properly disposed of and that the Isle of Man’s beaches are kept pristine. We were delighted to be able to show our support at the Parish Walk, and we also managed to raise some extra funds through a bucket collection in the office after the event. We hope to continue our support for Beach Buddies and will certainly make sure we each do our bit to preserve our beautiful island.”
Bill Dale, the founder of Beach Buddies who recently received Tynwald’s highest honour for his ‘outstanding contribution to Manx life’, commented:
“We are really big fans of the Parish Walk but with so many walkers, supporters and spectators there’s always the chance of a fair amount of litter being found along the route, so we were really pleased to be involved with First Names Group at Eary Cushlin, to spread the word. “It was the first time Beach Buddies has been involved in the Parish Walk and what we didn’t expect was the fantastic atmosphere created at the (prize-winning) feeding station, and the great reaction from competitors and supporters. It was a really great day, and we were delighted to be involved and would love to do so again.”