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Medequip Teams Work Together to Support Trek 26

Medequip Team Support Trek 26

Trek 26 is a fundraising initiative set up by Alzheimer’s Society. It takes place in a number of scenic locations across the UK, with participants walking 13 or 26 miles to raise money to support people devastated by dementia. An epic initiative like Trek 26 requires significant logistical support, from equipment delivery through to managing checkpoints as well as supporting walkers and clearing up in the aftermath!

As a strategic partner for Alzheimer’s Society, community equipment specialists Medequip had helped out with practical support for other runs and walks. Discussions between the teams on the ground carrying out this support work led to discussions around how this help could be expanded to reduce costs for the Society and improve efficiencies.

“Medequip operates a number of depots and hubs in the South West, with easy access to local resources and assets, so we made the decision to run a trial support project for Trek 26 covering the South Devon route, which takes in the English Riviera clifftops and beaches,” explained Justin Page. “It also provided an ideal opportunity for Medequip depots to work together in support of our strategic partner. We intended to investigate the scope of what was required, to see whether we could match these requirements and extend our support in 2023 to other Trek 26 routes through the Medequip network.”

It was a significant undertaking. Medequip vans from the London depots collected equipment from Alzheimer’s Society storage facility in Hertfordshire on the Thursday before the event, ranging from marquees and merchandise through to flags, signs and other checkpoint materials. This was driven to Weston-Super-Mare, where it was all transhipped to Medequip vans from the South Western depots. These vehicles then delivered their loads to the hotel where the Start/Finish line for the trek was situated, in Devon.

On Friday, Medequip volunteers from the Emersons Green and Weston-Super-Mare depots then assisted with setting up this hub, unloading the vehicles, building marquees to welcome the walkers and guiding the placement of toilet facilities. Equipment was reorganised onto different vehicles and delivered to the various checkpoints along the walk. The work didn’t stop there, as the Medequip volunteers had also undertaken to manage a checkpoint for the duration of the walk on Saturday. They were at the checkpoint before 6.00, setting out signage and organising food and hot drinks. The first walkers arrived at around 7.30, and it proved a busy day!

“From a logistics perspective, it was an excellent piece of community engagement,” stated Luke Derrick. “It was also a great experience for our staff to meet different people and find out why they had been inspired to do the walk.”

“Lots of people recognised the Medequip name and were grateful for the support they had received for family members using our services,” added Graham Organ. “Medequip was definitely seen as a safe pair of hands, and the volunteers were able to answer many different questions on topics from aids for daily living through to telecare.”

Once the last walkers had passed through the checkpoints, the entire procedure went into reverse, with all equipment returned to the Start/Finish hub and reloaded onto Medequip vehicles for return to the Weston depot. Here, it was met by the London Medequip vans, who delivered it safety back to Alzheimer’s Society storage facility ready for the next event. “Managing waste materials from events had been an issue for the Society in the past,” explained Aaron McGuinness, who also thoroughly enjoyed the experience. “We were able to assume control of this and manage it through our own recycling points, which made an important contribution for our partners.”

Michaela Harris, General Manager for Medequip in the South West and Suffolk, acknowledged the hard work and commitment of the Medequip team. “Trek 26 provided a great opportunity for Medequip to work closely with Alzheimer’s Society, which is so representative of the demographic we serve,” she stated. “We were able to bring our expertise in logistics to the event, reducing costs for the Society. As a trial, the event went very well, and we are now investigating working with other Medequip regions on Trek 26 events with increased participation for 2023.”

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