Merit Group support is pure gold

Meet some of the fab and fun team at Merit Group – the community-focused Basingstoke business that is leading the way as the headline sponsor for Ark to Arc.

Ark to Arc will take place between July 12 and July 16, 2017 and will see 40 riders support Ark Cancer Centre Charity, which is raising £5million towards a unique local cancer treatment centre in the Basingstoke area, and Kingsclere-based Bike 4 Cancer (bike4cancer.org).

Headline sponsor Merit Group is supporting Ark Cancer Centre Charity as its charity of the year, and managing director Maria Nunes and head of Merit Group Samantha Noorduijn were delighted to take up the Gold Ark to Arc sponsorship package as part of the company’s 2017 backing for the charity.

Maria said: “Ark to Arc will be a great event, and Merit Group is delighted to be the headline Gold sponsor.

“We look forward to supporting the cyclists who have signed up so far, and we will be doing all we can to encourage others to join them on what will be a fun fundraising trek.

“Merit Group is proud to support Ark Cancer Centre Charity, and the success of Ark to Arc will make a big difference to the charity in 2017. We are delighted to be involved and will do all we can to support the event.”

Merit Group started life as Merit Recruitment and has gone from strength to strength. Today, it also includes Merit Managed Services and Merit Hygiene Services.

The cyclists will set off from The Ark Conference Centre, where Ark Cancer Centre Charity is based, on July 12 and they will ride 255 miles to the Arc de Triomphe. On route, the riders will call in at Alencon, one of Basingstoke’s twin towns.

The ride is being organised by Ark Riders – a group that has been formed to help raise money for Ark Cancer Centre Charity’s £5m appeal in 2017 and beyond – and cycling-focused charity Bike 4 Cancer.

Last year, keen cyclists, who are now involved in the Ark Riders group, took part in cycling events which collectively raised nearly £100,000 for Ark Cancer Centre Charity.

In addition to Merit Group’s Gold sponsor support, there are five Ark to Arc Silver sponsors – fellow Basingstoke firms Croombs Electrical Services Limited, Excellent Windows, Doors & Conservatories, accountancy practice Lane Monnington Welton, and Neale Turk LLP Solicitors, with Epicor, which has an office in Bracknell, completing the sponsor line-up.

All of the cyclists will be raising money through sponsorship pages set up by Bike 4 Cancer. The charity has extensive connections in the cycling sector and has played a key role in the organisation of Ark to Arc.

Bike 4 Cancer is a cancer respite charity with a sporting focus. It also helps to fund research and makes grants to palliative care centres. Half of the money raised through its Ark to Arc sponsorship pages will go to the charity and the other half to Ark Cancer Centre Charity.

So far, nearly 20 cyclists have signed up in just a few weeks and now the drive is on to recruit the remaining riders.

A professional support team will assist the riders throughout Ark to Arc, and accommodation and ferry and Eurostar travel is being provided as part of the entry fee.

A special Ark to Arc party will be held at The Tea Bar, in London Street, Basingstoke, on the evening of Thursday, March 30 – the day before the deadline for entrants to sign up for the ride.

All the details about Ark to Arc can be found by going to arkriders.co.uk.

Picture caption: Some of the Merit Group team. Photo by Adrian Varzaru