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 something for a local project or charity, every month, for a whole year.
We are now half way through our pledge, and have had a busy six months:
October – Harvest Festival
In October, 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.
November – Community Education
In November we focussed on community education. The Sustainable Tourism MSc that we had designed in collaboration with the University of Surrey began this month – we gave a series of lectures and hosted the students at our head office. In addition to this, we gave a series of lectures at local colleges and helped Heath End Secondary School with their interview techniques.
December – Christmas Toy Appeal
In December 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.
January – Company Donation
Every January, 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. This year, our team decided to give our yearly donation to our next door neighbours, the Brain Tumour Charity.
February – Car Park Pancakes
In February we pledged to raise much needed funds for the British Heart Foundation. We celebrated Shrove Tuesday by cooking pancakes in our car park for everyone in our office, and our neighbours - the Brain Tumour Charity. Despite the snow and mere two degree temperature, we managed to raise a good amount for the British Heart Foundation – a good effort considering the weather!
March – Easter Egg Appeal & Red Nose Day
In March 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. In addition to this we held a cake sale and ‘guess the number of skittles in a bottle’ competition for Red Nose Day, for which we raised over £200.