Community conscious staff at GT3 Architects battled difficult conditions to raise more than £2,500 for charities Recyke y’Bike and Mind.

A five-strong team cycled 220 miles from the company’s studio in Nottingham to its Newcastle studio.

The team, which included staff from both studios, comprised architects, Matt McCreith, Paolo Coyle, and Luke Willett, architectural technologist, Jodie Chapman and associate director, Steve Mirtle.

They were supported by associate director, Liz Clarke and technical manager, Dan Skorin, who accompanied them on the journey in a suitably bright orange support-van reflective of the brand’s colour, providing food and liquids and keeping morale high.

The charities were chosen in recognition of the work both do to support mental health, wellbeing and physical health. Recyke y’Bike is a North East-based charity and helps to address various social issues by saving unwanted bikes from landfills and recycling them so as to sell them or give away to people in need. It also provides training in a range of settings such as Deerbolt Prison in County Durham, where young offenders gain vital technical skills refurbishing bikes, whilst also building confidence and self-belief.

Mind is a mental health charity in England and Wales. Founded in 1946 as the National Association for Mental Health, it celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2016. Mind offers information and advice to people with mental health problems and lobbies government and local authorities on their behalf. It also works to raise public awareness and understanding of issues relating to mental health.

Matt McCreith, based in the Nottingham studio, said: “What a fantastic experience we all shared. I have only been with GT3 for five months and it was in my first week that I was persuaded to take part in the cycle. I’m so pleased that I did, as it was such a great opportunity to get to know my colleagues better, both at the Newcastle and Nottingham studios, whilst raising money for two very worthy causes. The ride was tough, but we all pushed each other, and morale was high most of the time, as we laughed and joked for the majority of the 220 miles. I am doing Ironman Triathlon next year, so this was a good test to see where my general fitness is currently at.”

GT3 Architects delivers projects throughout the UK from its studios in Newcastle and Nottingham. It demonstrates particular expertise in sports and leisure, masterplanning and workplace design and has earned recognition for its innovative and sustainable projects in a range of sectors including mixed-use, entertainment, civic and residential.

Sara Newson, general manager, Recyke y’Bike, said: “We are delighted that GT3 Architects chose to support us for its challenge. Our core purpose is to get more people cycling as it’s brilliant for the environment, for health, mental well-being and is a low-cost way to get around. It’s also really fun! I am pleased that GT3 understand the value of cycling and are supporting our mission. A massive well done to all of the team!”

Luke Willett, based in the Newcastle studio, said: “We have such a great group of people here at GT3, it was fantastic to see the group come together and we’ve had great support from our colleagues. The ride was not easy, the weather on the Sunday was atrocious and morale was quite low at one point but after some much needed food and a pep talk from Liz and Dan, we put our heads down and pushed through. Not many people typically want to arrive at their office at the end of the working day, but it was incredible to finally reach our goal and to be welcomed by the rest of the team. Despite the weather, we all had a really good time and knowing we have raised money for two outstanding charities makes it all the better.”