Berkeley Manager Climbs Mount Everest As Part of £1 Million Fundraising Drive

7th August 2012

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A manager at leading housebuilder The Berkeley Group has climbed the world's highest mountain raising money to improve the lives of young people in London and the South-East.

Conor McGahon, aged 28, completed his gruelling two month ascent on May 25th, raising over £83,000. His feat is just one of many schemes currently being run in support of the Berkeley Foundation, which is hoping to raise £1 million for charity this financial year.

Conor's climb saw him battle against the most extreme conditions. Mount Everest was experiencing warm weather, which is unusual for this time of year and makes the ascent more prone to rock falls and avalanches. As a result, many teams have recently had to abandon their expeditions before they could reach the summit.

Conor had previously scaled the largest peaks on four other continents. He said: "I am absolutely elated to have reached the summit of Everest and stand at the top of the world. It has been a lifelong dream and an amazing opportunity to raise so much money for The Berkeley Foundation. Everest lived up to its reputation as being the ultimate challenge, and there were definitely times when I thought I'd have to turn back."

Rob Perrins, Managing Director of The Berkeley Group, said: "This is a remarkable achievement by Conor - an epic feat of endurance and an incredible way to raise money for young people and the Berkeley Foundation."

One of the initiatives developed through The Berkeley Foundation is a new partnership with The Lords Taverners called "Street Elite". This is a three year initiative, using sports as a form of training for work. It targets hard-to-reach groups of young people aged 16-24. 

In 2011, money raised by the Berkeley Foundation, The Berkeley Group and its staff contributed £0.8 million to charitable and worthy causes. They are now looking to beat this target in 2012. 

To sponsor Conor, please go to: .

For further information on The Berkeley Foundation, please visit

For further media enquiries please contact The Berkeley Group

Matt Bell, Group Head of External Affairs (

Emma Lidefjard ( (01932.686555)

Notes to Editors:

1. The Berkeley Group is made up for 5 autonomous companies: St George, St James, Berkeley, Berkeley First, and St Edward. We are publicly-owned and listed on the London Stock Exchange as a FTSE 250 company. 

2. Berkeley's business strategy is called Vision2020. This focuses on four key areas: the customer experience, building greener homes, delivering sustainable communities and   running a sustainable business. 

3. The Berkeley Group was voted Britain's Most Admired Company across all industries in 2011 and Housebuilder of the Year in 2010 and 2011.

4. The Berkeley Group has come top of the Next Generation benchmark for the last six years, which ranks the UK's 25 biggest housebuilders on sustainability.

5. The Berkeley Foundation supports young people and their communities across London and the South-East of England through charitable donations and the time and talent of our staff.

The Berkeley Foundation was launched on 4 March 2011. It works to improve the lives of young people and their communities in London and the South-East of England. In its first year, the Foundation has invested in over 30 separate charities, helping to tackle some of the big social issues facing our society.  

Two strategic partnerships began in 2011. The first was with the Lord's Taverners, developing a sports-based training for work programme called Street Elite. The second was with Shelter, supporting a complete range of housing advice services for young people.

In the last 12 months, the Berkeley Foundation helped Shelter support over 12,750 people. 313 people received individual advice face to face from an expert housing advisor, and 12,438 people were able to use Shelter's advice for young people on the web. 

Our staff have been at the forefront of all this activity. In March 2012, 124 people dashed up Tower 42 in the City of London, raising £50,000. Seventeen others then ran the London Marathon. One person, Conor McGahon, has even climbed Mount Everest. Meanwhile, ten different offices took part in Wardrobe Relief, collecting 4,778kg of second hand goods. After just 12 months, Berkeley has also achieved the gold Payroll Giving Quality Mark Award.

Our intention is to make the Berkeley Foundation the most effective and distinctive CSR programme in the UK housebuilding and real estate sector. This will be built on a strategic approach to modelling new ways of changing young people's lives for the better and the idea that, in whatever way they chose, everyone in Berkeley does something to support the Foundation every year.

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