Going the Extra Mile – Team Sapper from Birmingham to London

Last edited 1 February, 2023
3 min read.

Local Businessmen and ex Royal Engineers embark on 300 mile cycling challenge

May 29th 2013 sees Midlands based fund raisers Team Sapper embarking on a 300-mile journey from Birmingham to London in support of Help for Heroes, The Fisher House Project and Battle Back. Having already raised £300,000 for Help for Heroes since 2008, Team Sapper are long running supporters of the acclaimed military charity

The team is composed of fifteen ex Royal Engineers (‘Sappers’) and members of the Birmingham business community, who have served for the British Army as multi-skilled soldiers, combat engineers and tradesmen. This assembly of dedicated individuals have tasked themselves to cycle to raise money for a new development at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, The Fisher House project, the first facility of its kind built in the UK.

What it’s all to do with

The Fisher House project serves as a “Home away from home” for injured service men and their families to recuperate in a non-clinical environment.  The support service Battle Back is another project that will also be benefiting from sponsorship money and donations. Battle Back uses adaptive adventure training and sports rehabilitation to give hope and confidence back to servicemen and women who have been physically and/or mentally wounded whilst serving our country.

Team Sapper, sponsored by Birmingham-based environmental building services consultancy Couch Perry Wilkes, will journey through Worcester, continuing through Oxfordshire and Godalming onto Chatham, which is appropriately known as the Home of the Royal Engineers, an institution dedicated to the development of military engineering and efficiency. Couch Perry Wilkes play a key role in the on-going reduction of carbon emissions to existing buildings within the UK. Committed to providing exemplar low and zero carbon design solutions and using innovative and modern engineering techniques, ensuring that their clients achieve the best possible solutions for the life of their buildings.

Couch Perry Wilkes and Team Sapper

Simon Seaton-Smith, Director of Couch Perry Wilkes and member of Team Sapper said: ““We were delighted to have succeeded with being appointed as M&E consultants for the new Fisher House Project at the QE. It became clear from the outset that this was a very special project that would provide for, and support the families of our brave servicemen and women within a caring and positive environment.”

“Taking part in this project focused my conscious, I decided to join the Big Battlefield Bike Ride for  a 350-mile haul across France last year, raising over £10,000 with my close colleague Chris Aird. During the BBBR 2012, I became closely acquainted with Team Sapper, who took me under their wing once their leaders Lt Col Gerry Taggert and Brigadier Ian McGill learned of my Granddad’s exploits during WW2 as a wartime Royal Engineer.  Since the recent passing of my Granddad (and Team Sappers contribution at his funeral) I am both privileged and honoured to be part of a great band of unique brothers who’s quest in support of wounded servicemen is relentless and passionate. Contributing in this way through cycling events is a great beacon for these fantastic charities that we at Couch Perry Wilkes are proud to be part of and support.”

Team Sappers’ endeavours form part of the main Help for Heroes event that includes around 350 cyclists who will be riding from Paris to London. The team will be averaging 60 miles a day over a five-day ride before reaching their destination at Blackheath, Southeast London. Here they will prepare to join thousands of other cyclists on Sunday 2nd June, in a parade to The Cenotaph War Memorial in Whitehall London where a ceremony will be held.

Heroes and Legends

A special Heroes and Legends Ball will be held on 22nd May 2013 at Moxhull Hall in Sutton Coldfield prior to the fund raising cycling event.  Hundreds of people are confirmed at the Ball to show their pride and support of Team Sapper, the affiliated charity organisations and also pay homage to servants of the military both past and present.

David Duckham MBE, will be hosting the event alongside inspirational speaker Gordon Banks, whose career successes are inimitable as number one goalkeeper for the England National Football side in the unforgettable 1966 World Cup Campaign. During the black-tie charity event, a raffle and auction will be held to raise additional funds to support Help for Heroes, Fisher House and Battle Back.

To follow all the developments and progress of the fund raising ride please visit: www.helpforheroes.org.uk

EDGE team member



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