Meet Alan Treanor who has worked in Hotter's Call Centre for over 18 months. Alan is the driving force behind the Hotter Half Dozen who are planning to complete the Three Peaks Challenge to support the Marina Dalglish Appeal. Comfort Club plans to follow their progress, so watch out for more from Alan, Adam Walsh, Adam Clammer, Andy Hepburn, Martyn Saint and Ian Williamson - no backing out now boys!
I was born in... Ormskirk
My favourite comfort food is... is spaghetti bolognese because my Nan is Italian and always cooked home made Italian food.
I first joined Hotter in... April 2008.
My all time favourite song is... You can call me Al by Paul Simons or Never too much by Luther Vandross, I can't choose between the two as they remind me of my time living in Majorca.
The best day of my life was... when I met Tyler Cavanagh.
You wouldn’t know it but I’m good at... being a DJ.
If I have time to myself I like to... go the gym to train for my challenge.
The best car I ever owned was a... Vauxhall Astra (my first car).
My favourite holiday destination is... Cala Bona, Majorca (where I spent two summers working)
My favourite thing to do at Hotter is... getting involved in alternative tasks from website testing to helping in the mail room - variety is the Spice of life after all.
The invention that makes my life most comfortable is... the treadmill because I can train indoors when the lovely English weather is horrible.
My most memorable moment at Hotter was... when I took a call from a customer in Spanish and helped to solve her problem.
The best Hotter shoe we’ve ever made is... Pacer in nubuck because it is extremely comfortable while being very lightweight and the nubuck is very soft.
Hotter stepped in to give a fund raising boost to a duo who ran the coast to coast path in just seven days - and discovered a whole lot more about their chosen charity and why footwear can play an important role...
The pair, Ian Daniels and Phil Boardman, were inspired to complete the famous Alfred Wainwright coast to coast path to support MS Research which has helped Phil's wife who has multiple sclerosis (MS). They ran from St Bees Head on the west coast reaching Robin Hood's Bay on the east cost just one week later - the equivalent of running seven marathons in seven days. En route their supporters managed to organise fund raising raffles and quizzes which included a wedding dress and some Hotter goodies.
"Our runners did a fantastic job for us, raising over £10,000 which was a great achievement," said Regional Fundraising Manager Rosemary Howell. "The run took a great deal of determination and 'mind over pain' from them. Their training had prepared them extremely well from the heart, lungs and legs perspective, but their feet took a bashing on all the rocks and rough terrain in the Lake District."
Giving an insight into living with MS and how the money raised will help her charity , Rosemary went on to tell Comfort Club: "MS damages the protective coating of nerves - the myelin - in the brain and spine. It can affect people of all ages but is most common in young adults. Damage to the nervous system will continue for several years leaving people with various levels of disability.
"MS can affect the ability to lift the foot clear of the ground leading to the risk of tripping and falling and can result in back pain and leg stiffness making walking even harder. Some people who have MS are unable to feel sensations through their feet so they are never sure where their feet are. Others may find that getting around using a wheelchair is easier and preserves their energy better, so although they can walk short distances or move around at home, walking to do a supermarket shop or to pick up youngsters from school is just too hard and tiring.
"Physiotherapists who specialise in neurological conditions can offer many types of help and assistance, from showing people how to carry out the best exercise programmes for their problems to supplying specialist equipment like walking aids. A physiotherapist will often advise on footwear and other ways of helping people make the most of their capabilities and protect themselves from the risk of falls," she added.
Recently, functional electrical stimulation (FES) has been introduced to help people with particular types of walking problems. These FES devices provide small electrical impulses that stimulate muscle movements at just the right point in the walking action, to lift the foot clear of the ground. "MS Research has provided funds to perfect and introduce this technique for people who have MS and aims to establish a national FES MS clinical centre," added Rosemary, "and it can also be used for some people who have had a stroke or other causes of walking difficulty. "Using such devices needs proper fitting and training, but many patients who have these devices say that they have revolutionised their lives. Again the choice of appropriate footwear is a vitally important part of the success of enabling someone to use an FES device."
More information about MS Research can be found at www.ms-research.org.uk. If you would like to talk to someone about how you can help and support the work of MS Research please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org call 07775 560479 or write to Rosemary Howell, PO Box 56, Denbigh. LL16 9AX.