The team at EDL are mid-way through their most active month of the year – STEPtember – when many employees have significantly increased their daily exercise activity.
While STEPtember presents a great opportunity to fine-tune fitness levels before heading into the end-of-year celebration season, there is a much more personal cause driving EDL, and that is the opportunity to contribute to the Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s major annual fundraising initiative.
Amanda Dodds has supported STEPtember for many years, including the past five as Senior Legal Counsel at EDL, where she has rallied support for the cause alongside Chief Executive Officer, James Harman.
Under Amanda and James’ stewardship, the EDL STEPtember team has grown exponentially – from 30 people in Australia to 120 participants globally in 2023, working in teams including the ‘Run Track Minds’, ‘UK One Step Beyond’ and the ‘rEDLiners’ to generate some friendly inter-company competition.
The company has raised more than $150,000 since 2018, with a goal of chasing down a fundraising target of another $75,000 this year, including dollar matching from EDL.
Amanda was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, or CP as it is more commonly referred to, when she was three, with the cause traced back to oxygen deprivation during a long childbirth.
“When it comes to STEPtember, raising funds for this cause is personal. I have cerebral palsy affecting my right side, but I consider myself lucky because the impact on my life is relatively limited,’’ Amanda said.
“While there are things I can’t do (drive a manual car, lift heavy stuff, run a four-minute mile), most things I can do. Plus, I’ve got a job that I enjoy, with a company working for positive change in Australia’s energy supply, supportive work mates and friends, and a happy, healthy family. So STEPtember is the least I can do to help people with CP.”
“If we had research dollars going into identifying it earlier, preventing it happening in the first place, and improving the quality of life for so many people through early intervention, it would just make life easier for so many people.”
EDL CEO James Harman said, “I love this time of the year. STEPtember really is something that our people embrace. They encourage and support each other, and many people are a lot more active than usual!’’
“And they are raising money for an incredible cause. Every dollar EDL employees raise, the company will match. The Cerebral Palsy Alliance does tremendous work, and I am so pleased that EDL can support in the way we do.”
Cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability of childhood. About 1 in 345 children are identified with CP, resulting from damage to the developing brain either during gestation or birth.
Pictured – James Harman & Amanda Dodds