When the Bear came to Farringdon

The Farringdon team put together their own blog entry about their bear adventures.

While the bear was busy making its way across the country using all sorts of non-conventional forms of transport, the Farringdon team started preparing for its long awaited arrival.

With the challenge being in support of The Kier Foundation our team were determined to raise as much money as possible, this meant getting the fundraising started right away.

The team firstly decided to hold a breakfast morning and in true bear spirit, named it Bear Grills. This involved giving everyone at Farringdon office’s the chance to sit back and relax and have their breakfast delivered to their desk. They had the choice of bacon or sausage rolls and a selection of porridge. To our delight the event was greatly supported by all, especially the site canteen who kindly donated the all the bacon and sausage rolls for free!

Next we decided on the ever famous cake sale. We asked team members and other volunteers to put their baking skills to the test (buying skills for some) to help us put on an un-bear-ably delicious selection of cakes, cookies, donuts and much more.

Once set up, hardly anyone could resist taking a look and grabbing a sweat treat to accompany their morning cuppa which helped us raise a whopping £422!

Through all the fundraising and sponsorships we managed to raise a grand total of £858.91 thanks to all the support from the Farringdon team, this meant we were even more determined to complete the challenge.

Challenge day…
The Kier Bear has been travelling across the country over the past few months and eventually made its way to Farringdon.

After taking a trip around site to see what the new Farringdon station for the Elizabeth Line will look like, the bear prepared itself for another adventure that would take it to its next stop, Deephams.

We kick started our journey with the bear by taking a step back into our childhoods and used space hoppers to travel 5 long miles to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Luckily we only had 2 space hoppers between the 9 team members so we were able to work on a relay basis to give everyone the chance to catch their breath after bouncing along.

After receiving many strange looks and thinking our knees may never be the same again due to space hoppering across London, we arrived at the Olympic Park. This meant it was time to search for the bear devils within us and face the 178m tall ArcelorMittal Orbit Slide. This was quite a fitting challenge for our team as the Orbit is in fact the longest tunnel slide in the world and we are currently working on Europe’s largest infrastructure project building 42km of new tunnels under London. We first took advantage of the a fantastic viewing platform at the Orbit which provided us with a 360 Degree view over London meaning we were even able to spot the tower cranes at the Farringdon sites nestled between St Pauls and the Royal Courts of Justice.

However as some of our team members started to let their fears of heights kick in we decided it was time to face the slide. Firstly we were kitted out in our protective clothing which made us look a little like we would be engaging is some sort of skate boarding/ scrum practice, and then we took to the slide. Mark Baker a member of the team described his fearful experience…" As we were lead one by one to the entrance of the tube slide, the fear really started to kick in. We were given a mat told to lie down and launch ourselves off the flat, stable surface whilst also ensuring that we keep our heads slightly elevated… I assumed so that we could take in the full horror of what was about to happen to us. What ensued in the next forty seconds is difficult to described, I could probably only liken it to being flushed down a plug hole without the water….Exciting? yes….. Scary? yes…..Shouting at the top of your voice? Yes……Would I do it again?… Hell yes…. what a ride."

With some of the team now feeling a little wobbly after the slide experience, we headed over to meet the ‘Moo Canoe’ team who would be helping us to Canoe the remaining 7.5 miles up the River Lee Navigation to Deephams. With none of us being avid canoeists, we were certainly setting ourselves a challenge to cover 7.5 miles in one trip but we had expert help at hand and were willing to give it a go.

We split into 3 teams of 3, climbed aboard and after a slightly rocky start for some, we were well on our way. Team member Nishta Daby said “It was a tough challenge and I felt the aches for days after but knowing it was for a good cause made it all worth it.”

After safely making it to Picketts Lock and completing our canoeing journey we could see the finish point ahead. Feeling rather exhausted we headed round to Deephams entrance where we were greeted by members of the team to hand over the bear and complete our adventure in aid of The Kier Foundation… and what an adventure it was.

Well done to the Farringdon team.