AC Goatham & Son congratulates colleague and friend Steve Craddock who has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours for services to fundraising.
Steve is a former Sergeant in the Royal Engineers from Chatham and is now the Welfare and Compliance Officer at AC Goatham & Son. Steve’s greatest passion has been fundraising for Help for Heroes since the charity began in 2007. In 2020 he reached the landmark of raising £500,000 for the charity, making him their most successful individual fundraiser ever.
Steve Craddock comments: “Many veterans continue to need the support this important charity provides, and as long as one veteran continues to need support, I will be there fundraising for them”.
Steve himself suffered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of his own military service and he credits Help for Heroes in helping him and his family on his ongoing journey of recovery. Steve signed up to the army age 17 straight from school and left behind family and friends in the North East. He served in the Royal Engineers for a number of years including several tours of Northern Ireland during the height of the troubles.
Over the years Steve has organised and raised money at a variety of events which have filled football stadiums, fed hundreds of people through curry nights, hosted talks and pub quizzes but his greatest passion is for cycling. With his motto ‘no one is left behind’ he has organised and participated in many events each year including cycling the length of the UK from John O’Groats to Land’s End.
Steve’s inspirational fundraising rides have brought together amateurs, ex-service personnel, keen cyclists and sports stars such as Dame Kelly Holmes to share the joy of riding and to help make a long-term difference to the physical and mental wellbeing of all of those taking part. Despite Covid-19 curtailing many of these events over the last 15 months, Steve has still been out on his bike as much as possible and encouraging others.
Back in 2019 Steve led and took part in five major cycling efforts across Africa and Europe in support of Help for Heroes including cycling the length of Portugal – around 430 miles with 30,000 feet of vertical ascent – the equivalent to cycling up Mount Everest.
Helping others is very much a key part of Steve’s own ongoing recovery and a journey that he plans to continue for as long as he can.
With his first-hand experience of the wellbeing benefits of cycling, Steve is also keen to inspire other veterans to get on a bike as he knows how enjoyable and freeing it is, and how much it can significantly reduce feelings of anxiety. To this end he has set up his own cycling group called ‘No One Left Behind’ which encourages veterans of all sexes to join with other likeminded people, get out on their bikes and know that the ride will always be at the speed of the slowest person.
Ross Goatham, Managing Director at AC Goatham & Son comments: “We are thrilled to hear of Steve’s award and it is much deserved. Steve has been inspirational in his fundraising which we have also been delighted to support over the last four years and we wish him every success with his future rides and reaching the next fundraising milestone.”