London, UK (PRWEB) July 12, 2012
A 56-year-old Hertfordshire man has raised thousands for charity after setting out to raise money for the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RHOH). Doug Stewart wanted to raise £5,000 for the RNOH by riding his bike ride from Avignon to Nice over the Alps, and told his friends and colleagues if they helped him achieve his £5,000 target, he’d match that amount with a personal donation to Great Ormond Street Hospital. It seems to have worked as they’ve pledged £7629.50 so far.
While in his day job as chief executive of green energy uk he is usually extolling the virtues of saving energy, Doug admits to having to expend plenty of it to complete one of the most gruelling climbs of the Tour de France – the legendary Mount Ventoux with its summit at 1912m.
The man who spends much of his working life encouraging people to go green and switch to clean energy was inspired by some business associates who had planned the trip as a recreational pursuit.
Great Ormond Street Hospital is a charity close to Doug’s heart after his 15-year-old son was treated there for a brain tumour four years ago, and one which he has helped to raise more than £40,000 for since that time, but he also felt the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital could be a worthy benefactor of his efforts.
Doug said: “I live a reasonably active life through pursuits such as golf, cycling, skiing and motorcycling, but accidents can happen at any time. When I read ‘Engage’ by Paul Kimmage this year, a truly inspiring book about Matt Hampson – who was paralysed from the neck down when a scrum collapsed in an England training camp – what struck me was not just his courage, but the people he met in hospital who had been going about their day-to-day business, not doing anything remotely dangerous, when they suffered similar life changing accidents. The facilities at RNOH are in dire need of upgrading and I felt I wanted to help support the mission of my brother-in-law Mike Thompson, who has set himself the task of raising £16million to renovate the place, so my effort was a small start for him.
“My support for Great Ormond Street needs little explanation; we all love children and they looked after my family in a time of significant need. I’d like anyone else who finds themselves in that position to have the same experience. I couldn’t expect everyone else to saddle the financial burden, so my pledge was to match my target for RNOH with a personal donation to GOSH,” he added.
Although a fan of outdoor pursuits Doug admits he’s no light weight. He said: “I did some training but 103 kilos is still 103 kilos – whilst the circumference of my waist is slightly less, I seem to turn fat into heavier fat so I still had to haul all that up the mountain. It was a real challenge – but what goes up must come down and on the downhill section I can claim to have put my 103kilos to excellent use and been slightly more competitive!
Doug Stewart is Chief Executive at green energy uk, a sustainable energy company which supplies 100 per cent green electricity to both domestic and business electricity customers, buying its energy from a wide range of renewable sources, including those derived from unusual and innovative methods of energy harvesting, such as from pig waste. The company’s customers can be shareholders for free, so the energy switch has a double benefit.