What's going on

Home Challengers win a Third Sector Award!

Challengers win a Third Sector Award!

Challengers at the Third Sector Awards image

Challengers was thrilled to receive the Third Sector Award for Fundraising Team of the Year 2018! Cader Macphail (pictured above third from the left), Community and Challenge Events Manager, talks about how we were nominated, the awards ceremony itself, and the reaction when it was announced that Challengers had won.

Duncan perfectly summed up our response to being shortlisted for the Fundraising Team of the Year Award in his Challengers Chat earlier this month. To be recognised at such a level, alongside national charities that are household names, was utterly bewildering and we were so thrilled.

The news that we had made the final shortlist of 5 nominees came a few days after Duncan, Sophie and I travelled up to London to make our pitch to the TSA judges. In my role as Community and Challenge Events Manager, presenting to groups of people about Challengers makes up a large part of my job but this was by far the most nervous I had ever been. I was really touched when Duncan and Sophie had asked me to join them for the big pitch, but when the day came around I felt a huge sense of responsibility on my shoulders.

Nevertheless, we arrived in our Challengers t-shirts full of orange spirit and we told the judges, with smiles on our faces, about the rollercoaster year we had. At the end of our presentation the judges asked me – “what makes a team a great team?”. A great team always goes the extra mile – for each other, for its supporters and for its cause and even when the building has burnt down. We celebrated surviving the presentation with smoothies before heading back to Guildford to tell everyone about our big city adventure.

Arriving at the awards ceremony, we were all impressed by the grandeur of the evening. In turn we each remarked “we are usually working at events like this, not attending!” We sat in great company at our table, with teams from Girlguiding UK and Muscular Dystrophy UK beside us and we enjoyed a delicious dinner too. Comedian Kerry Godliman distracted me from the butterflies in my stomach with her laugh out loud jokes for a while and then it was time for the most important part of the night…

If you have ever met me, you will know that it takes a lot to leave me speechless. But nothing other than a squeal left my mouth after hearing that we had won. Remember when Halle Berry won her Oscar and completely fell apart? It was quite similar to that. Halle said “this moment is so much bigger than me” and now I understood what she meant. We went up to the stage to collect that award for our colleagues who engage with our fundraising campaigns, for our fantastic fundraisers who run marathons and do sponsored silences and everything in between and for the families who love Challengers. The 2018 Fundraising Team of the Year is so much bigger than the 12 of us who make up the team – the Fundraising Team of the Year is that unstoppable force…#TeamOrange.

For me, the greatest reward for our fundraising efforts is seeing the children and young people enjoying our inclusive schemes, but I must admit it is quite nice to have a trophy now too!