Young professionals from healthcare construction specialist, MTX, have helped disadvantaged communities in Peru, and simultaneously generated more than £11,000 for Stockport County Community Trust.
Katie Wiseman and Ben Statham worked as volunteers with local teams for two weeks in Cusco, southern Peru upgrading the SOS Centre which provides healthcare and community support there. After announcing their plans, the pair also organised a sponsored ‘virtual fitness challenge’ which soared past the £7,500 target to raise more than £11,000 for the Stockport County Community Trust’s Social Well-Being Programme, which helps adults in South Manchester. Volunteers from MTX were tasked to walk, run, and cycle 1200 kilometres across Peru – the equivalent of travelling from the eastern mountain border to the west coast. Stockport County Community Trust Manager, Dave Wardle, said: “Katie and Ben’s success in raising over £11,000 with the Peru Challenge is a fantastic boost for our free Social Well-Being Programme. It brings together vulnerable individuals, their families, carers, and friends, to teach life skills, reduce stigma, and improve quality of life by building self-esteem and confidence.”
While in Peru trainee quantity surveyor, Katie (aged 21) and junior project engineer, Ben (20) turned their hands to painting, tiling, plastering, and installing drainage and toilet facilities. They lived with a local family, which gave them a down-to-earth perspective on the country and its people.
Katie explained: “Local people were so welcoming, and really appreciated the fact that we had volunteered to help. Many of the people there are very poor, but they brought us gifts of food, and were very patient in the way they communicated with us, because very few spoke English, and we knew little Spanish.” Ben added: “One of the most impressive aspects of the team we partnered with was the ingenuity that made the most of very limited tools and resources available to them, and the way they solved problems to press on and complete the work.”
MTX MD, David Hartley, said: “Katie and Ben’s volunteer work in Peru was a fantastic commitment, but we’re all aware that communities within the UK also desperately need support. The ‘Cross Peru’ Challenge celebrates their achievement, and generous support – both from within the company and from our supply chain – has enabled us to boost the excellent work being done right here by Stockport County Community Trust.”