2012 - 2013:
We like to think that we’re a charitable team at Explore. If we’re not rallying around to raise funds for Trailwalker or the Great Gorilla Run, then there’s always someone preparing for their next charity fix – whether it be trekking the Inca Trail, competing in the Race for Life or cycling off-road from Lands End to John O’ Groats for charity.
In October 2012 we decided to go the extra mile for the local community in which our head office is based, and UK charities. In addition to all the ad-hoc fundraising that we already love to do, we decided to make a pledge to do 12 different things for local projects or charities, for 12 months.
Here’s what we got up to:
Our local church, St. Christopher's Cove in Farnborough were collecting items for their Harvest Festival. We set up a collection point in our office, with all staff making donations to this worthy cause.
Educating on Responsible Tourism
We spent one month educating students on the importance of responsible tourism. We gave a series of lectures at the University of Surrey as part of the ‘Sustainable Tourism MSc’ that we had helped the university design, and also hosted the students at our head office for a day, allowing them to see responsible tourism in practice.
Christmas Toy Appeal
At Christmas we helped Eagle Radio with their Christmas Toy Appeal. All of the Explore team donated toys – the new toys were passed on to the appeal while the used toys were sold internally in our ‘Explore Toy Sale’, with all the proceeds going to other local charities.
Educating the local community
To give something back to the local people living in our community, we spent time giving a series of lectures at local sixth forms and colleges, as well as helping Heath End Secondary School with their interview techniques.
Once a year, all of our staff are asked to nominate a charity who they would like to support through a donation from Explore. The nominations are then put forward, and an all-staff vote cast for the charity we will support that year. In 2013, our team decided to give our yearly donation to our next door neighbours, the Brain Tumour Charity.
Car Park Pancakes
We celebrated Shrove Tuesday by cooking pancakes in our car park for everyone in our office, and our neighbours, the Brain Tumour Charity. All funds raised went directly to the British Heart Foundation. Despite the snow and mere two degree temperature, we managed to raise a great amount, a great effort considering the weather!
Easter Egg Appeal
We helped Eagle Radio with their Easter Egg Appeal. All staff donated an egg which was passed on to less fortunate children across Surrey and Hampshire.
Red Nose Day
For Red nose day, we held a cake sale and ‘guess the number of skittles in a bottle’ competition, for which we raised over £200.
We took part in the Oxfam and M&S initiative to Shwop! All of our staff were asked to donate their unwanted clothes to Oxfam, for each bag they donated they were rewarded with an M&S voucher - a win win situation!
The Explore team were educated on the importance of blood donation. Many of the team, along with their friends and family, gave blood at a local blood donning day at the end of the month – a very worthwhile cause!
We spent a month campaigning about the importance of joining the organ register. Many of the Explore team decided to sign up and encouraged friends and family to do the same.
Frimley Hospital Book Appeal
Each member of the Explore team donated books which were donated to our local hospital – Frimley Park. The books were then sold to raise much needed funds for the hospital.