Opinion

How a company’s charity activity can help to create a great place to work

Charity fundraising challenges are not only an important part of a company’s corporate social responsibility. They can also have a far wider impact on reinforcing a culture of teamwork and camaraderie, making the organisation one which a potential new recruit will aspire to join.

This is something our director, Lynn Walters, experienced first-hand when she was talked into taking on the gruelling 24-hour, National Three Peaks challenge, alongside five other members of the Pure team.

Lynn said: “Although I was aware that taking part in a charity challenge would be a great thing to do, I was still overwhelmed by just how positive the experience was.

“As a socially responsible business we’ve always actively supported local charities. Our companywide events have already raised almost £98k since we started in 2002. We also support our employees in any charity challenges they wish to undertake themselves, giving them additional time off to enable them to complete their chosen goal and kick-starting their fundraising with a £250 donation.

“But it’s been several years since I was directly involved in a challenge like this, and it reminded me just how this investment of time and money can bring many other returns. While it was only six of us who actually climbed the Three Peaks, it felt like we had the whole company with us, every step of the way.

“Our training stories were shared via our intranet, making everyone feel engaged in our mission. Even those who hadn’t signed up to do the actual climb were inspired to create their own fundraising attempt. A spin-off pedometer challenge was organised, with a team walking in their lunch breaks until they clocked up 500 miles between them. So we went from having six team members involved, to more than 70, and across all four of our offices.

“On the day before the challenge, we were given an amazing send off by all our colleagues. Throughout the weekend we were constantly receiving messages of support via text and social media. Overall it took us 26 hours to climb Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowden. For me the best part was sharing it with an amazing group of people who all supported each other, laughed, cried and celebrated in equal measure. And that included all our colleagues supporting us back at home as well.

“A supportive and team-focussed culture is one which many businesses strive to achieve. It took me climbing 10,300 feet to remember that one amazing way to help maintain a culture like this is to bring everyone together through the common ‘feel-good’ factor of charity activity. It’s also a fantastic way for senior managers and directors to connect and share experiences with their team.

 “Thank you also to everyone who has sponsored us. So far we have raised around £6,500 for two important charities, Arthur Rank and Thrombosis UK, which is more than what we had ever hoped for.”