Polypipe has partnered with Help for Heroes to undertake a range of high profile initiatives over the course of three years.

The objective, apart from raising money for a fantastic cause, is to raise awareness among returning service men and women of the opportunities on Civvy Street that companies such as Polypipe can provide.

Alongside long term initiatives including training opportunities and endorsed products, Polypipe is using its 20th Annual Regatta as a platform for Help for Heroes to tell their story and compete in one of the most popular events on the HVAC sector calendar.

Polypipe uses 20th Annual Regatta to support Help for Heroes.

Polypipe, the leading manufacturer of above and below ground, drainage and underfloor heating systems, is celebrating 20 years of its extremely popular sailing Regatta, just as its charity partner Help for Heroes celebrates 10 years of supporting returning armed forces service men and women.

For 20 years Polypipe has used its Regatta, which sees as many as 60 yachts and clippers set sail across the Port Solent, off Portsmouth, for some friendly racing, to raise funds for a range of regional and national charities.

It is an event that attracts support from some of the biggest names in the heating, ventilation and plumbing sector, with two days of thrilling activity put on for over 400 guests on dry land and at sea. In 2017, the Regatta raised more than £10,000 for charities and notable causes.

For 2018, the primary charity is Help for Heroes, as Polypipe has been supporting the organisation over the course of the last 18 months. Polypipe will be using the funds to support Help for Heroes programmes, working with men and women living with injuries and illnesses sustained while serving in the British Armed Forces.

The Regatta will open with a birthday celebration giving attendees the chance to enjoy live music, street food, guest speakers, complimentary birthday cake and a welcome drink. An ambassador from Help for Heroes is given the opportunity to tell their individual story and show how the charity has helped them to the assembled guests. The following day 30 of the charity’s beneficiaries will take to the waters to sail on three Help for Heroes team boats. They are certainly a competitive bunch with each boat aiming for that number one slot!

In 2017 the beneficiaries chose to sail in set teams: the first of which was the Band of Brothers made up of ex-service personnel; the second was Band of Sisters made up of the family and support networks of the Band of Brothers; and the third was a mix of the two. As if to prove that life works best when working together, the mixed boat placed highest of all the first-time competitors and took home the Best Newcomer trophy.

The day of racing is followed by a prize-giving ceremony and a charity raffle, the proceeds of which go to the chosen charities.

Polypipe has worked with Help for Heroes on other key initiatives as part of their partnership over the course of the last 18 months. As well as raising money to support the work of Help for Heroes, Polypipe is helping veterans to re-enter the work force upon their return from service.

Every year, over 14,000 servicemen and women return to Civvy Street, with one in four forging a new career in construction. Polypipe is therefore working with the Help for Heroes careers team to offer introductory taster courses to ex-Servicemen and women interested in pursuing a career in plumbing and groundworks.

The idea is to show servicemen at the beginning of choosing what will be their second career what a life in plumbing, heating and construction would look like. Polypipe is also offering to facilitate Help for Heroes beneficiaries by spending a day on the road with members of the Polypipe Registered Heating Engineer Network for a true ‘day in the life of’ experience.

For beneficiaries further along their career path, Polypipe is offering sponsorship through a British Plumbing Employers Council (BPEC) course at the Polypipe Professional Development Centre in Doncaster.

Polypipe wants to use the work it is doing with Help for Heroes, to highlight the opportunities to work in the construction sector, and specifically in plumbing, where there is a demand for skilled workers and new talent to enter the sector.

In a second key initiative, in early 2018 Polypipe also launched a new and improved Bottle Trap endorsed by Help for Heroes, with 10% of every purchase donated to the charity.

So far this has raised over £35,000 for Help for Heroes, with the ambition of raising over £75,000 over the first three years of the partnership.

These two programmes have been backed by money raising activity organised by the Polypipe staff at sites across the UK. Bake sales, collection boxes, and sponsored sporting matches have all helped to raise pennies and pounds for the charity. It is no surprise that Polypipe staff have taken the charity to their hearts. Polypipe’s main manufacturing facility is in Doncaster, a town with a long military history, and which to this day is home to The Rifles regiment.