Team building challenge for charity
The ambitious activity saw nine Axis employees, seven from the UK, one from Ireland and one from Sweden, participating in the adrenaline-filled adventure. The National Three Peaks Challenge involves climbing the highest peaks in England, Scotland and Wales: Scafell Pike, Ben Nevis and Snowdon, respectively; hiking almost 26 miles (just over 41 km), ascending to a height of 9,800 feet (3,000 metres), and driving a total distance of 450 miles (just over 720 km).
Activities for bonding and developing employees are important to Axis' ongoing work to strengthen corporate culture, which is characterised by commitment, collaboration, openness, entrepreneurship and taking responsibility. It is not uncommon for activities to include outdoor pursuits such as cycling, climbing and kayaking. Axis believes that a good work environment promotes healthy relationships, enhances creativity and contributes to innovation.
Team building for a great cause
Employees at the UK office in Luton took the initiative to organise the activity with the aim of taking on a physical challenge which would contribute to improving the health of employees, while allowing them to help others through fundraising. Daren Lang, Regional Manager, Business Development, Northern Europe, commented: "A lot of energy is infused into the teams in their everyday work from such challenges. It was a good reason to get into shape, to build cooperation and at the same time raise money for some fantastic charities."
The group chose three organisations to benefit from the money raised: the Swedish charity Child Cancer Foundation which combats childhood cancer; the British charity PTSD Resolution which helps women and men who have served in the army to readjust to society and a balanced work and family life; as well as the British Keech Hospice Care, which offers free specialist care to adults and children with life-limiting and incurable diseases.
Fundraising was coordinated in a way that would see donations evenly distributed between the three charities. "We set up a Just Giving page to make it easy to explain what we wanted to do, and simple for people to get involved. It was easy for people to donate, and was clear and transparent in terms of how much money we collected," said Daren Lang.
The hope was that the challenge would raise £5000, but as it became apparent that this figure would be easily achieved, the target was increased to £6,200 (SEK 75,000). To everyone’s surprise and delight, the target was easily surpassed, with a final figure of £8,300 (SEK 100,000) raised in total.
Stefan Holmqvist, Regional Key Account Manager, Northern Europe commented: "The Three Peaks Challenge proved to be the perfect team-building activity. We are extremely happy to have taken part and would like to say thank you to everyone who donated. It was a great way to encourage employees to push themselves in the name of a good cause, and a different and exciting way to see some spectacular scenery in England, Scotland and Wales. It has also helped to strengthen the Axis brand, as a company that contributes positively to society."
Making a difference
Katarina Gustafsson, Customer Service Manager, Corporate Cooperation, Swedish Child Cancer Foundation said of the event: “Employees get a great feeling of achievement and pride from taking part in events like The Three Peaks Challenge. It’s a fantastic way to strengthen team relationships, promote the benefits of exercise, and raise money at the same time. We are very grateful to Axis for organising this event. Our share of the money raised will be used to fund vital research into child cancer, so it's a win-win situation for everybody."
Axis’ team placed great importance on having a clearly defined and achievable objective; a common goal for each participant to work towards in completing the challenge. The event gave the team a taste for more and they are already planning the next excursion. “We are exploring the possibility of climbing Kebnekaise, Sweden's highest mountain at over 2000 metres,” said Stefan Holmqvist. Daren Lang commented, “We’re looking forward to the next challenge and to demonstrate the unstoppable power of teamwork and collaboration. We’re always looking to push boundaries and to find new ways to innovate for a smarter, safer world.”
Tips if you want to start a charity fundraiser linked to a sporting achievement:
1) Set a low threshold for your chosen sporting activity so that as many people as possible can participate.
2) Set a clear fundraising target.
3) Communicate why we are making this effort in order to involve and engage the staff.
4) Motivate your team and go for it!
Tips from Katarina Gustafsson, Swedish Child Cancer Foundation.