InXpress franchisee and charity champion, Craig Atkins, shows us how to get fit, get ready, and give something back with the latest in his inspiring fundraising initiatives: The Couch to 5K challenge!
Giving something back to the communities we work in, as well as to those less fortunate around the UK and overseas, has been a big part of InXpress’ ethos for over 20 years. The InXpress Gives Back programme invites franchisees, sales reps, customer services and corporate staff to find ways to support worthwhile causes close to their hearts. As a result, tens of thousands of pounds have been raised over the years through a variety of activities from volunteering in community centres to sponsored events.
While everyone in the company has played an important role in the Gives Back programme, one of its biggest movers and shakers in recent years has been Craig Atkins from InXpress Reading.
Apart from being a successful franchisee since 2007, Craig has also worked consistently hard to raise money for charity. In 2017, he completed the Manchester Marathon, and in 2019, played against Ronnie Sullivan at Snooker in a ticketed charity event in Leicester. While Ronnie took the game after the final two reds, Craig is proud to have held his own throughout most of the frame, raising a significant amount of money for InXpress’ Give Back in the process.
Despite his experience from his marathon days, Craig had to put his running on hold for a few years due to both family and work commitments, and is now desperate to get back into it. Discovering his fitness was nowhere near as good as it had been, he felt the need to go back to the beginning, with the Couch to 5K challenge. Realising its potential as a group event where participates could not only encourage each other, but help to raise money too, Craig put a message out on the InXpress franchise network and soon recruited several fellow franchisees to join him.
As Craig says, “I put the word out to the network, and told people I was doing the Couch to 5K, inviting them to join me! I wasn’t sure what to expect, but several people from the network decided to get involved, straightaway. It’s a great challenge for all of us, physically and mentally, especially as we are all locked away indoors and can’t join local running groups like we normally would.”
The group has just finished their second week, and Craig is confident they will all complete the challenge. Everyone is keen to get sponsorship from friends and family, and turn this into another successful fundraiser. “It gives us all something to focus on while we are waiting for life to finally get back to normal,” Craig says, “and helps us feel like we are doing something positive too.”
Our clients need not worry, however, InXpress is not planning to shift its shipping and logistics over to runners! Both our customers and our franchisees can continue to benefit from the company’s innovative technology and industry-leading logistics solutions as it draws on its global network of experts to make shipping more efficient and affordable than ever before.
So, what’s next for Craig and the other fundraisers at InXpress? Well, there had been plans to do an ‘It’s a Knockout’ style event, but the pandemic put a hold on this idea. Hopefully, with all this training with his fellow franchisees, Craig will be able to field a team of crack athletic heroes, ready for the 2022 edition!