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Home Business Club meet for final 2018 event at the beautiful Loseley Park

Business Club meet for final 2018 event at the beautiful Loseley Park

On Thursday 13th December, the Challengers Business Club met for their final event of the year at the beautiful and festive Loseley Park. The Business Club gathered to enjoy breakfast together and hear an update on the 2018 Accumulator Challenge, and from Parent Trustee and Ambassador Gail Bedding.

Challengers is a charity which provides play and leisure schemes for disabled children and young people in Surrey, Hampshire and the surrounding areas. Their Business Club brings together over 40 local businesses and hosts four networking events a year with first-rate industry speakers to share their business expertise and industry stories.

Guests met in the Tithe Barn in Loseley Park and enjoyed a networking reception, followed by a delicious breakfast. Derek Arden, Business Club Chariman, welcomed the room and introduced Challengers CEO, Laura Sercombe. Laura explained that this was a busy year for Challengers with the Farnham redevelopment project and high delivery numbers for the year. She said: “I went to the new Farnham centre on Saturday and saw everybody’s smiles as they came through those doors, both the children and their parents. I met a young boy who had no sight or hearing and I watched as he touched every wall, every corner and every newly toy which is something he wouldn’t usually do. A Play Worker told me that he usually stays in a certain area of the Playcentre, but that was not the case today! It was amazing to see him exploring his new centre.”

Laura then passed over to Gail Bedding who told the room about what her family experience at Christmas time. She talked about her parents who live a 5 hour drive away and what is involved in organising her family to go and visit them: “two cars, nappies, the hospital bed, renting a mobile hoist, what if we break down on the way? It doesn’t bear thinking about, maybe it’s easier just to stay at home. Christmas can be a difficult time for families like mine, but when January comes around it means that Challengers is back and we can get a break from what would be 3 weeks of constant caring.”

Guests were immediately inspired by Gail’s words and a thoughtful atmosphere filled the barn. Next to speak was Duncan Wilbur, Head of Fundraising, to announce the winners of the Accumulator Challenge. This was a new fundraising initiative for the Business Club in 2018, where members took £50 and were tasked to turn that into a higher figure. 21 members took on this challenge and came up with various ways to achieve this. There as pumpkin carving, many foody sales, dress down days, raffles, department rivalries and loads more.

The Club has raised an amazing £8,000 since October with the winners for this year being announced as Ramsac who got their 4 teams competing against each. Their Commercial team ran a car wash, tuck shop and raffle, their Technical team also ran a raffle, their Support team ran a cinema night and a poker night and their Operations teams ran weekly hot lunches selling a main course and pudding for £4. All together, they raised an amazing £1,414.66. Susie Jewell, Corporate Fundraising Manager at Challengers said: “We are so impressed with everybody’s efforts. This was the first time we have tried this as a fundraiser and we couldn’t have asked for a better response, our Business Club has been so creative and engaged with it and we cannot thank everyone enough for making a difference.”

The next Challengers Business Club event is taking place on 7th February at the Guildford Playcentre.

For more information about the Challengers Business Club, please contact Susie Jewell on 01483 230 060 / susiejewell@disability-challengers.org. Alternatively please head to the Business Club section.

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