18 runners from the P&A Group including three from their Polish supply partner tackled the 26.2 mile Manchester Marathon on Sunday 3rd April, raising well over £3,000 for the British Heart Foundation.

A personal best was set by Finance Director, Andrew Baker who completed the marathon in an impressive time of 03:10:34. He was closely followed by one of P&A’s Polish supply partners who recorded a time of 03:14:58. Marathon novice Iwan Gwyn, Woodworks Garden Centre Manager, posted a time of 03:20:23 and Paul Haynes, The Key Account Manager at Zest finished at 04:18:31.

All 18 were running to raise money for the British Heart Foundation, which was chosen by employees as the company’s charity of the year for 2022. The British Heart Foundation, for which P&A hopes to raise £10,000 in the coming year, helps and supports 340,000 people living with heart and circulatory diseases in Wales.

Representatives from each division of the P&A Group tackled the course, including eight members from Zest’s garden products warehouse and distribution centre in Saltney. In addition, three members of management staff from its key Polish product supply partner took part as well as staff from The Woodworks Garden Centre and P&A Central Services Team.

Runners were excited to be joined by a mystery guest at the start line - Steve Morgan, P&A Group Managing Director, who ran the marathon wearing the British Heart Foundation mascot suit, Mr Hearty. Steve also carried two charity buckets, collecting over £500 along the way which was mostly in change!

Denise Matthews, one of the P&A runners. said:

“I’m so pleased to have completed the Manchester Marathon. There was a great atmosphere and the crowds definitely helped to keep spirts high during the challenge! It was great to see so many of us taking part. Although we’ll be aching for the next few days, I’m so proud of everyone for raising money for the British Heart Foundation.”

Steve Morgan said:

“How could I not join in the fun? When I saw how many employees had signed up to take part in the Manchester Marathon, I knew I had to get involved too! It was a fantastic day and I was amazed by people's generosity. It took me longer than expected to finish the marathon as so many people stopped me to donate money along the way. “I’m very proud of the entire team of 18, particularly as it included many novice runners doing their first marathon and also seasoned runners who were looking to record a new personal best. Every division of the P&A Group was represented and we’d all like to say a huge thank you to the people of Manchester, other runners, colleagues and the team from the British Heart Foundation for all their support.”

Andrew Baker said:

“The best part about the Manchester Marathon was watching the team come over the finish line. I’m so proud of their dedication and determination.”

Iwan Gwyn commented:

“The training really was worthwhile. I thoroughly enjoyed not just being part of the team, but also completing my first marathon and achieving such a great time.”

All 18 runners received a warm welcome when they returned to the newly opened design.shed in Saltney on Monday 4th April to share stories and celebrate with colleagues with some well-deserved cake!

The Manchester Marathon is one of the many fundraising events that employees of the P&A Group are getting involved with this year as they seek to raise money for the British Heart Foundation. It’s not too late to support the P&A team and anyone wishing to do so can click the link here.

Over the last 11 years, employees of the P&A Group have raised in excess of £100,000 for a variety of charities including Macmillan Cancer Support, Hope House and Tŷ Gobaith Children’s Hospices, Cancer Research UK, Action for Children, Alzheimer’s Society, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and Meningitis Now.

How to Donate

It’s not too late to sponsor members of the P&A marathon team. Simply go to: https://justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/britishheartfoundation/p-a-groupbhf2022