A team from Wessanen UK successfully completed the Oxford Half Marathon this past weekend in aid of our new partners, International Tree Foundation (ITF).

‘Team Tree’ was made up of Wessanen employees Claire Hughes, Jason Ross and Amy Hilier, who were also joined by Amy’s father Jon. Together, the foursome raised £1,000 for the charity.

Experienced runners Amy and Jon both completed the race in around 1:45, while Claire ran the course in at 1:58 with Jason close behind at 2:12:04 – all fantastic times.

Amy Hillier, Factory Process Expert at Wessanen UK, comments:

“I’ve done quite a few half marathons and I really enjoy running. As my family run as well, it’s great because it brings us all together.”

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The decision to run for the International Tree Foundation was an easy one for Amy and her team-mates. Wessanen UK recently announced that it was to become the first corporate partner of ITF’s new 20 Million Trees appeal, and this news opened the team’s eyes to just how important the work the organisation does really is.

Amy adds:

“The work ITF does around the world is really amazing, but I formed a particular bond with the charity when I learned about the work they are doing right on my door step.

“The International Tree Foundation recently provided a grant from its UK Community Tree Planting Programme to allow the Friends of Ham Hill to plant 1,000 new trees at Ham Hill Country Park in Somerset, where I spent a lot of time growing up. The committed activities of ITF and other organisations like it means that my daughter has the chance to create great memories in the outdoors exploring nature, just like it did when I was younger.”

Wessanen UK will be supporting the International Tree Foundation in a series of community-led forestry and education projects across the world going forward.

This includes planting 20 million trees in and around Kenya’s highland forests, helping local African communities through the sustainable use of trees, helping a Ugandan women’s group to graft and plant mango trees, and funding an extension of ITF’s new ‘Tree Power’ UK education programme to primary schools in Dorset and Surrey.

The funds raised by ‘Team Tree’ from the Oxford Half Marathon, as well as by the team who recently sold a wide array of organic produce at London’s Roman Road Yard Market, will make a huge difference with each tree sapling costing just 20p.

Looking ahead, Amy is hoping to get accepted for next year’s London Marathon and says she will definitely be running for the charity again if this happens. And ITF will be offering a native British tree to each member of ‘Team Tree’ to plant this autumn, as a lasting token of their appreciation!