Q8Aviation and Q8Oils are joining forces today on the Benon Cycle Ride II, a 350 -kilometre cycle ride from Antwerp to Woking to raise funds for charity (http://goo.gl/RtSZe8). The journey will also celebrate the memory of Benon Banya, a former senior IT analyst at Q8Aviation, and former accountant and loyal supporter of Survivor’s Fund (SURF), who tragically died while climbing Kilimanjaro in 2013, in a charity climb in aid of SURF’s activities in Rwanda.
Benon was a keen cyclist and his many fund-raising activities included a Paris to London bike ride. The inaugural “Benon Ride” took place last year, when a team from Q8Aviation rode from Paris to Woking. It was so successful that it was decided to try an even bigger challenge this year.
The 20-strong team will set out from Q8Oils’ blending plant in Antwerp on 3rd July to cover the 130 kilometres to the Hook of Holland. In the UK, the route will stretch from Harwich via St Albans to Woking, and on the final 70 kilometre leg the team will be joined by more colleagues, both past and present.
Martin Stanley, HR manager at Q8Aviation and this year’s event organiser, says: “Many people in Q8Aviation and Q8Oils raise funds for a range of charities throughout the year. By working together we’ll have the added benefit of strengthening our team while benefitting some very worthwhile causes – and having a lot of fun at the same time!”
Françoise Lemagnen, Chief Executive of SURF says: “We are thankful to all at Q8Aviation and Q8Oils for honouring Benon in this way, and wish them safe speed on this momentous trip.” In 2014, thanks to the Benon Cycle Ride 1, and the Benon scholarship programme, SURF was able to provide educational support to a range of university students.
Alex Muhozi is a genocide survivor and one of the Benon scholars. He graduated in March 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in Education at the Mount Kenya University. Alex had previously been obliged to stop University attendance, when his Aunt, who was sponsoring him, lost her job and he could no longer pay for his fees. After a rigorous process, SURF selected Alex to join the Benon scholarship programme, as he is a very bright and hard working student.
Alex said: “Without this support from the SURF Benon scholarship I would not have been able to finish my education and prepare my future. I am really so grateful for this help”. He has now a permanent job as a teacher at the Green Hills academy, one of Rwanda’s best schools.
Q8 cycling team are inviting anyone from Q8’s extended family – colleagues, customers and suppliers – to help with sponsorship for the event. Participants are welcome to support a charity of their choice, or Benon’s chosen charity, Survivors’ Fund (SURF), which helps survivors of the Rwandan genocide. To donate, please follow the link http://goo.gl/RtSZe8