As part of a new feature, we will speak to a different member of #TeamBB each month and find out a bit more about what they do and what makes them tick. This month, we have sat down with Andrew Knott, a Senior Executive at our Cowbridge office, who is about to embark on a monumental challenge, as he prepares to complete a 200-mile run, raising funds for Velindre Cancer Centre, our charity of the year.
Q: Tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Andrew and I am a Senior Executive at Bevan Buckland. I am a Chartered Tax Advisor and have worked in tax for over 16 years, previously working for Deloitte and local accountancy practices across South Wales. I originally completed my ATT and CTA exams back in 2007 and 2011 and was lucky enough to receive the Kimmer Medal for the highest mark in the country on one of the Trust papers.
I joined Bevan Buckland in July 2020 after a short break from tax to spend some time with my family and since originally joining the Swansea office, I have since opened and relocated to our new Cowbridge office, where we are rapidly growing, employing 10 members of staff and taking on new clients in the Vale of Glamorgan and Surrounding areas.
Outside of work, I like to spend my time either climbing mountains with the family, walking my two golden retrievers, or running. I started running in lockdown with a local group of men and over time have taken on a few ‘ultra’ runs with the longest distance I have run to date being 100 miles across Snowdonia last September.
Q: Is this the first fundraising run that you have taken part in?
Not the first, last year I was entered into a 100km Brecon Beacons Race that I decided to run for the firm’s charity at the time, raising £2,385 for Ysgol Maes y Coed. The school provides education to young people with complex learning difficulties and physical disabilities and I found that I kept thinking of this cause throughout the run which helped spur me on to complete the race after 16 hours of continuous running.
After a long dry period, the weather on the run over the mountains at the night was pretty awful, visibility was only around a couple of meters due to the fog and sideways rain. This caused me to fall many times on the rocks and break my phone which I was using for navigation. I eventually got off the mountain only to be told by my wife that I was mildly hypothermic. After a quick top change and a cup of warm drink, I left on my way, completing the final 16 miles of the race and finishing in 9th place.
Q: Which event are you taking part in?
I have entered the Wildhorse South Wales 200 which starts in Chepstow on 5 April 2023. The event is a 200mile long course across South Wales crossing the Black Mountains and Brecon Beacons and finally ending at Worms Head in the Gower. The route has 30,187 feet of ascent which is just over 1,000 feet higher than Mount Everest and having been to Everest Base Camp myself this is something that is a little daunting, to say the least.
The event is a continual race, with 9 checkpoints along the course and between these checkpoints I will be self-sufficient, carrying my own water and food and compulsory kit such as additional layers, torches etc. There are also some sleep stations where you can have a short sleep if required but my initial plan is to see how far I can go without using the sleep stops (located at miles 66, 106 and 163 miles).
This event will by far be the hardest race I have entered yet due to its distance, the elevation gain and injuries that I have had in the build-up to the run.
Q: How is the preparation and training going?
Training isn’t going too well at the moment, so I am having to adapt. I ran 43 miles from Brecon to Cardiff in mid-February and experienced knee and hip pain on that particular run (resulting in extensor tendonitis on my right foot). I have therefore not run for the last couple of weeks, to allow my body to fully recover.
Although training hasn’t been as I would have wanted it, I am not worried and plan to still give it my all and complete the event within the allowed time of 120 hours. I plan to start strongly, assess how things are going and adapt accordingly.
Q: Why did you choose to fundraise for Velindre?
Velindre is a fantastic charity. If you ask anyone in South Wales, they will have either heard of Velidre or will know someone who has used their services. I, along with a number of my colleagues personally suggested Velindre as our 2023 office charity after our managing partner, Alison Vickers, had recently undergone treatment at Velindre. As a firm, we felt it was important to give something back to them.
Q: Have you set yourself a target and how do people donate?
The initial target set is £2,000 and only recently opening the page up to staff, I have raised just under 20% of this target already. I however don’t want to see £2,000 as a ceiling and want to raise as much as possible for this fantastic charity. If anyone would like more information about the charity or to make a donation the page is Bevan Buckland is fundraising for Velindre NHS Trust Charitable Fund (justgiving.com) or the page can be found on Just Giving by searching Bevan Buckland.