Please see below a list of our frequently asked questions. If your question relates to a particular challenge, then please find the challenge you are interested in and click on the ‘q&a’. If your question is not answered here, please click here to contact us.
why do our challenges appear to cost more than other comparable tours on other challenge operator websites?
how are my personal details processed by charity challenge?
which charity can I support?
Raising sponsorship requires time and effort, so you need to be passionate about the cause you support. Charity Challenge allows you to choose which charity benefits from your efforts, providing it is registered in the UK or Ireland. Our website lists many organisations who will welcome your support. Please click here for our associated charities. If you wish to support a charity that is not listed on the website, you can provide us with their contact details and we will introduce them to the Charity Challenge concept. If you would like to raise money for a charity who will invest your sponsorship into projects in the country you are visiting, there are links to such charities on our website by clicking here.
i'm going on a Charity Challenge, do I need travel insurance?
It is a Charity Challenge Booking Condition that you have a suitable travel insurance policy that will cover the adventurous nature of these challenges. If you choose to use your own travel insurance policy it must be of at least equal cover to the travel insurance policy we provide. We arrange specialist travel insurance cover for Charity Challenges with Global Travel Insurance Services Ltd. (GTI) Cover is provided for both UK and Non UK residents, (please see below for more details.) This insurance covers among other things, medical (emergency, evacuation and repatriation) arrangements, cancellation and curtailment of the challenge. In addition, this policy will protect the charity you are raising funds for, as they will (under the minimum sponsorship and flexi options) be contributing hundreds or thousands of pounds towards your challenge costs.
We appreciate that whilst you may have your own personal travel insurance arrangements, it is not administratively possible for us to vet each and every one of your policies. Whilst we have taken steps, which we consider necessary to review this travel insurance policy, it is not possible to anticipate every conceivable risk or accident that can occur on an adventure challenge. In addition, no insurance policy covers every possible accident that may arise. You are therefore requested to consider for yourself the wording of the policy that we recommend. Nothing will prevent you from taking out additional cover from any insurance company over and above the insurance cover provided under our insurance. All prices include UK Government Insurance Premium Tax @20%.
If you extend the duration of your trip, you will need to ensure that your travel insurance is extended to cover you for the full duration. We are happy to make the necessary arrangements on your behalf by extending the challenge insurance. Any request for an extension of cover should put in writing.
You are able to purchase our travel insurance if you are a resident of the UK, ROI, Isle of Man and Channel Islands at the time of purchasing the policy. You are also able to purchase our travel insurance if you reside outside of the UK, ROI, Isle of Man or Chanel Islands. The travel insurance policy is arranged by Global Travel Insurance Services Ltd. and is underwritten by Union Reiseversicherung AG for both 2013 and 201f departures. All companies are Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA.) If you have any questions regarding this insurance, you should contact Global Travel Insurance on 01903 267432 for advice and assistance. To read the complete GTI policy wording, please click here for 2013 departures and here for 2014 departures.
If you are flying directly to join the group in country and have purchased our travel insurance policy, please inform us of your flight details so we can ensure you are adequately covered. If you have purchased your own travel insurance policy, please ensure it is extended (where necessary) to provide cover for the travelling time to and from your country of domicile.
For all Charity Challenge departures, Challenges (Un) Limited t/a CHARITY CHALLENGE (Firm Ref 491848) are an Appointed Representative of Global Travel Insurance Services Ltd (Firm Ref 305686) who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and whose status can be checked on the FCA Register by visiting www.fca.org.uk or by contacting the FCA on 0845 606 9966.
i'm going on a Community Challenge, do I need travel Insurance?
For all Community Challenges, a comprehensive travel insurance policy is included in the overall price of your challenge. In addition to covering participants for amongst other things; cancellation, curtailment, medical emergency and repatriation it also provides cover for manual labour on a building site. The travel insurance policy is arranged by Global Travel Insurance Services Ltd. and is underwritten by Union Reiseversicherung AG for 2013 and 2014 departures. Both companies are Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA.) If you have any questions regarding this insurance, you should contact Global Travel Insurance on 01903 267432 for advice and assistance. To read the complete GTI policy wording, please click here for 2012 departures and here for 2013 departures.
i'm going on a Sky Dive, do I need travel insurance?
Included in the cost of a Sky Dive is a British Parachute Association Liability Insurance Policy with £2 million of third party liability cover as well as cover for death and critical injury. Please note that this does not give any cover for personal accident or cancellation. All jumpers are therefore advised to take out a travel insurance policy that provides this cover. Our policy provides cover for personal accident and cancellation of the challenge. It covers residents of the UK, ROI, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. The travel insurance policy we offer is arranged by Global Travel Insurance Services Ltd, which is a company authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FCA). If you have any questions regarding this insurance, you should contact Global Travel Insurance on 01903 267432 for advice and assistance.
my challenge is within the EU, do I need to apply for an EHIC?
Yes, If you are either travelling to an EU Member Country or are a resident of the EU travelling within it, you should make sure that you have applied for and obtained the European Health Insurance Card or EHIC, which entitles you to treatment under the reciprocal agreements that exist for all EU citizens. Travel insurance in general will require that any treatment obtained in the EU is within the reciprocal agreement. For all applicable challenges, further details along with advice on how to apply for an EHIC will be provided in the your 3 month letter General Travel Advice Document in the “challenge pack” section of your online member’s area.
I have my own travel insurance policy already. Do I still need to take yours?
We do appreciate that some of our participants already have a travel insurance policy. There are however, a few reasons why we advise that each person travelling with Charity Challenge has the specialist travel insurance that we offer:
1. The policy specifically covers the adventurous nature of our challenges, e.g. high altitude trekking and cycling, use of ropes and harnesses and so on. Many alternative policies do not provide cover for some of the activities undertaken by participants on our challenges and will only insure you up to a relatively low altitude.
2. The way the Charity Challenge trips are funded is unique in the travel market. Your charity can be paying hundreds or in many cases thousands of pounds towards your costs. If you were to cancel within eight weeks of the departure, the charity would lose a proportion or their whole contribution towards your challenge costs. We have specifically tailored the insurance cover so that in these exceptional circumstances, (subject to the cancellation terms), the insurance company, (in the event of a successful claim) would refund you your deposit (minus any excess,) and any challenge costs paid out by the charity would be refunded directly to the charity. In this way our unique insurance protects the charity's money as well as yours.
3. By providing insurance cover which gives adequate medical emergency and evacuation cover, we shall not be faced with a situation where a client may not be quickly and effectively rescued because of inadequate insurance cover. Charity Challenge takes thousands of participants on challenges each year. It would not be feasible to inspect each individual insurance policy to ascertain if it was adequate for all circumstances.
frequently asked questions about the Charity Challenge travel insurance policy
The questions below are the most popular our participants have regarding the Charity Challenge travel insurance policy. If you need any further clarification on these or any other points please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m arranging my own flights and flying directly to the destination country of my challenge, can I still take out your insurance?
Yes, as long as your flights are booked in economy class. You will need to let us know your flight details so we can ensure you are covered for the full duration of your trip as the policy is valid on a “from home to home,” basis. If this is longer than the advertised dates/duration on our website, there may be an additional premium to pay. If your flights are booked in any class other than economy (business, 1st etc) please inform us as again, there may be an additional premium to pay.
I’m getting a connecting flight from either within or outside the UK to join the group flights in London, are these also covered?
Yes, as long as your connecting flights are no more than £250 each way. If they are more than this, please advise us of the cost as there may be an additional premium to pay.
I live outside the UK and am planning on flying to the UK for a week prior to the challenge. Will I be covered during this period?
No. As cancellation cover commences when you start your trip it would cease when you leave your country of residence. If you then flew to the UK and in the week prior to the challenge departure suffered an injury / illness that meant you couldn't travel on the challenge the cancellation cover would not be in effect.
I want to upgrade my economy flights booked with Charity Challenge, will these flights still be covered?
Again, we will be required to contact the insurance company as there may be an additional premium to pay.
Can I take out your insurance if I live outside the UK?
Yes, as well as covering residents of the UK, Isle of Man, Channel Islands and ROI (who have been so for at least twelve months), the policy covers all Non UK residents. The price of the policy is the same for both UK and non UK residents.
I’m going to extend my trip after the challenge, am I still covered?
If you extend your trip booked with Charity Challenge either through one of our organised extensions or your own, included in the cost of either the organised extension or the administration fee of £60 is a free seven day extension to your Charity Challenge insurance policy. If you are planning to extend beyond this period you must tell us and we will inform you of any additional premium due.
I'm organising my own extension, are my extra flights and trip costs covered?
No, if you are booking additional flights and accommodation either before or after the challenge these will NOT be covered. The seven day extension to your policy (or longer if required) simply extends the period that you are covered, ie for medical expenses, baggage, etc.
I'm organising my own extension, can I use my own travel insurance policy from the end of the challenge instead of yours?
No, the Charity Challenge travel insurance policy operates on a home to home basis. This means it must be active for the entire duration of your trip including any time you are away from home before or after the challenge. If the policy isn't extended to cover the entire duration of your trip and something happened on the challenge that resulted in you requiring assistance; the policy would be void and you would not be covered.
Will I be covered for all activities on my challenge / extension?
The policy will cover you for all advertised activities on the challenge itself and on Charity Challenge organised extensions. For the most up to date information please see the itinerary for your challenge / extension on the Charity Challenge website. If you are organising your own extension please read the travel insurance policy carefully for any exclusions. In addition, if you are in any doubt that a particular activity you are planning is covered by the Charity Challenge policy, please contact email@example.com for confirmation.
I am using my own bicycle on the challenge, will it be insured?
No, bicycles are excluded from cover. They are normally covered under home contents insurance which usually includes cover when away from the home, but you should always confirm this with your home insurer / broker.
Are there any personal items that I may have on the challenge that wouldn’t be covered under the policy?
Whilst there are a number of items excluded from cover, the two most common items not covered under the policy are glasses and mobile phones. Again these are items that are commonly included under home contents insurance away from the home. You should however confirm this with your insurer / broker.
Do I need to declare any pre-existing medical conditions to the insurance company?
Whilst all medical conditions etc should be declared on your Charity Challenge booking form for all departures, the only time you will need to declare them separately to the insurance company is if you are travelling to either Central, North America or the Caribbean (including Cuba.) Here, you will be required to call a Medical Screening Line to establish whether cover can be provided for you. Full details of this can be found on the policy wording. For travel to any other countries with Charity Challenge, no such procedure is required.
My challenge is within the EU, do I need to apply for an EHIC?
Yes, If you are either travelling to an EU Member Country or are a resident of the EU travelling within it, you should make sure that you have applied for and obtained the European Health Insurance Card or EHIC, which entitles you to treatment under the reciprocal agreements that exist for all EU citizens. Travel insurance in general will require that any treatment obtained in the EU is within the reciprocal agreement. For all applicable challenges, further details along with advice on how to apply for an EHIC will be provided in your 3 month letter.
is it safe to book or pay online at www.charitychallenge.com?
During all the confidential stages of booking and paying online, you will see a padlock icon at the foot of the screen. Your personal information is kept secure by encrypted transmission. www.charitychallenge.com uses SSL ("Secure Socket Layer") encryption. If have any concerns about booking or paying online please contact our office on +44 (0) 20 8557 0000.
how are challenge places allocated?
Each itinerary has a maximum group size, so places are limited and allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Once a challenge becomes full, we endeavour to introduce additional departure dates and the latest dates are listed on the website. Please click here to view Departure Dates.
can I organise my own flights and join the tour in-country?
The prices quoted for each challenge include return international flights from London to the challenge destination. If for any reason, you would rather organise your own flights, we will (subject to the information below) discount the overall cost of the challenge by the budgeted cost of flights from London (including air taxes). Over 98% of our clients travel with flights organised by Charity Challenge and we assume this to the case when you book with us, unless you notify us otherwise at the booking stage. We would ask you to let us know as soon as possible if you intend to organise your own flights so that we do not pay a deposit to hold a seat for you. If your request to organise your own flights is received after your booking has been processed, and deposits have been paid to the relevant airline, or if your request impacts on the overall group rate we have negotiated, the amount that we are able to refund you will be reduced accordingly. Once you have confirmed that you wish to organise your own flights, please let us know your new flight schedule so we can organise for you to be met in-country, and for any other necessary services such as an additional night's accommodation. Please note that when organising your own flights, you will only be covered under the insurance policy for the equivalent of economy class flights from London. Should you decide to fly business class for example, we will have to notify the insurers to make sure they are happy to accept the increased risk. They may in certain circumstances charge a premium. If this is the case, we will let you know. In all cases, you will have to pay the deposit at the time of booking, and as a self funder, we will invoice you the balance of the challenge costs less the cost of UK flights and air taxes. Under the minimum sponsorship option, you will have to raise the same level of sponsorship and once we receive the balance of your costs from your charity, we will refund you directly the cost of UK flights and air taxes.
Additional notes from the Booking Conditions: If you choose to book your own flights you must confirm with the Charity Challenge office before paying for them otherwise you may be liable for your included group flights (please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further assistance). If you are joining the challenge locally (i.e. the country the expedition takes place in) our responsibility does not commence until the appointed time at the designated meeting point. If you fail to arrive there at the appointed time, we shall not be responsible for any additional expenses incurred by you in order to meet up with the group.
what if I live outside the UK and need a connecting flight to join the UK group departure?
If you do not live in the UK but are travelling to join the group from overseas, please be aware that Charity Challenge cannot be held responsible for any delays or missed connections for flights not booked by us. If travelling from overseas, you are advised to book your own flights all the way through to the start point of the challenge in the country of operation from your usual local airport. In this case, we will refund you the cost of the group flight from the balance invoice (self funders) or will send you a cheque approximately four weeks prior to departure (minimum sponsorship or flexi payment options). If you do still wish to fly on the group flight, you are advised to leave plenty of time for the connection to allow for delays or for changes to the group flights schedule as Charity Challenge are not responsible for any missed connections caused to or by any flights not booked through us.
what do I need to know about organising my own transport to and from London to join the group?
If you need to travel from other parts of the UK to join with the group flights, please note that, in the event of a change to a challenge departure date, time, or airport, Charity Challenge is not liable for any penalty charges associated with connecting rail or air fares. We therefore strongly advise you not to incur any non-refundable incidental expenses before we send you final joining instructions between two and three weeks prior to departure. Similarly, you are advised only to book fully flexible connecting transport and other arrangements (such as pre or post tour accommodation) which can be cancelled or changed without charge.
If I have booked my own flight to London, will I be protected if it is delayed?
Charity challenge cannot be held responsible for any delays for flights not booked by us. We can organise a flight to and from some regional airports with airlines who code share with our group carriers and which will connect with your group flights. In the event of any delays to any part of your journey which may lead to missed connections, you will be reprotected onto the next available flight. If, however, you book your own regional flights, you will not be protected and may have to purchase a new ticket.
if I take part, can I extend my flight and stay on longer?
On all of our Charity Challenges, we aim to secure the most cost effective package. The biggest single expense on these challenges is the international flights, and in order to keep these costs as low as possible, we have an exclusive arrangement with several airlines. The tickets we book however are non-transferrable, non-refundable, and non-changeable. In certain circumstances, the airline may permit a change to the return date, but this is at the discretion of the airline. Where we are able to change your return date, there will be a flat non-refundable fee of £60, and of course, if the change of date results in a more expensive ticket, you will also be required to pay the difference. You will not be able to amend the outward date, only the return date.
After contacting Charity Challenge by phone, your request to extend must be put in writing before it will be actioned. You should send your request to Charity Challenge with a cheque for £60 made payable to "Challenges Unlimited" or by making your payment online. Your written confirmation should state that you have read and understood the points raised by your contact at Charity Challenge. You must give a preferred return date but also two other dates, just in case the first request is not available. If you choose to request a change, and then do not wish to take the requested return flight, you WILL be charged the £60 admin fee. However, if we cannot confirm your requested change of return date, or if the resultant fare increases by £50 or more and you choose not to accept the flight, we will NOT charge you the admin fee.
Insurance: If you extend your flight, you will also need to make sure that your personal travel insurance is extended to cover you for the full duration. You should put in writing a request to Charity Challenge and we will make the necessary arrangements to do this on your behalf. If an additional premium is required, you will be notified.
NB: PLEASE think very carefully and decide exactly what you need / want before requesting a change of return date. Once we request a change, if the seat is available, the airline will change the details immediately. If you change your mind once the new details have been entered, you may have lost your original seat with the main group.
what is the minimum age to do a challenge?
You need to be a minimum of 18 years old at the start of the challenge, in suitable physical condition to undertake the challenge as set out in the itinerary and be fully aware of the possible risks inherent in adventure travel. 15-17yr olds may also participate in any challenge (other than London to Paris bike rides) with the agreement of their parent or guardian and if accompanied by a parent or guardian on the challenge who is of legal age. The parent or guardian will have to complete the booking form for anyone who is under 18 at the time of booking and sign the following parental responsibility form.
how are the cancellation charges applied?
Cancellations will incur the following charges: -
Cancellations made 57 days or more before departure (you will lose the deposit).
43-56 days before departure (you will lose 40% of total challenge cost).
42-29 days before departure (you will lose 60% of total challenge cost).
28-15 days before departure (you will lose 80% of total challenge cost).
14 or fewer days before departure (you will lose the total challenge cost).
Please note that on UK events and London to Paris bike rides, you will lose 100% of the challenge cost if you cancel 28 days or less before departure. Most participants complete the challenge they undertake. However, if you are obliged to cut your challenge short due to ill-health or for any other reason, there is no refund of National Park fees, or flight and accommodation costs.
Any additional accommodation and/or transfer fees, flight and accommodation costs are your responsibility. Please take a credit card to cover any such unexpected costs.
The total challenge cost consists of the deposit, second deposit (for Flexi participants) balance, fuel and / or currency surcharge (if applicable) and any extras (ie single room supplement, extension.) Please note that admin fees are non refundable in all cases and do not form part of the total challenge cost.
Cancellation charges will be calculated as follows:
For Self Funder participants: all cancellation charges will be payable by yourself.
For Minimum Sponsorship participants: the above cancellation charges will be comprised of in all cases your deposit and then following that, any monies paid by the charity up to the respective percentage of loss (ie 60%) Subsequently, the same percentage of cancellation charges will apply to any extraneous services such as single supplements and extensions you have booked and paid for yourself.
For Flexi Participants: the above cancellation charges will be comprised of in all cases your deposit and then following that, your balance and any monies paid by the charity up to the respective percentage of loss (ie 60%) Subsequently, the same percentage of cancellation charges will apply to any extraneous services such as single supplements and extensions you have booked and paid for yourself.
Minimum Sponsorship Example :
Booking cancelled 35 days prior to departure: 60% Cancellation charges applied.
£500 Balance paid by charity
Loss of £500 deposit
Loss of £100 from balance paid by charity.
Loss of £300 from extension
Total Loss £900 (60%)
how do I convince sponsors that its not a holiday?
None of these challenges could be considered to be a holiday. You will need to spend months training and fundraising, before undertaking a demanding physical challenge. All three of these elements of Charity Challenge take time effort and commitment. You will be training for many months to get fit, raising thousands of pounds for charity, and then undertaking a physically demanding challenge. How difficult the challenge is, will ultimately be down to you to decide. You could trek or cycle for 6-8 hours each day and for several days, with basic facilities and sometimes at high altitude. Temperatures could climb from -20oC to +30oC within 24 hours. Participating in a Charity Challenge starts long before you depart. It takes time, effort, dedication and commitment and is far from just a holiday. Finally, you have the Self Funding option to pay the full cost of the challenge yourself.
what should I expect?
Many of Charity Challenge’s host countries are less developed than the UK and Ireland. Internal infrastructures are often limited; roads are rough and facilities basic. We maintain the highest standards of hygiene (that a wilderness environment permits), but if you’re after a five-star holiday, forget Charity Challenge. If, however, you are seeking an adrenaline-filled adventure abroad, are over 18 and relatively active, then Charity Challenge has plenty to offer you.
who takes part in a charity challenge?
Our challenges are open to anyone over 18 who is capable of undertaking the challenge. Fifteen to seventeen-year-olds can participate in a Charity Challenge if accompanied by a parent or guardian (of legal age). Our most mature clients were a 75-year-old man who successfully completed the Rajasthan Tiger Bike Ride in India and a 72-year-old man who successfully summited Kilimanjaro!
You will need to be relatively fit, should have an active sense of adventure, be willing to muck in, and have a positive and flexible approach to adventure travel.
how fit do I need to be?
The very nature of the Charity Challenge means a certain level of fitness is required. Our challenges are designed to be demanding, as you need to earn your sponsorship money, so getting fit is part of the challenge. Fitness Training notes are available on the website and we recommend you spend two to three months before your trip getting fit and building up stamina. You do not need to be professional in your chosen sport but the more prepared you are the more you will enjoy the challenge. Only you can judge how fit you are and what you are capable of achieving so be sensible but adventurous. Don’t forget people are sponsoring you to undertake a challenge. Set yourself realistic goals, but remember that the more prepared you are, the more you will enjoy the challenge.
what will the accommodation be like?
The accommodation could range from tents on a mountainside, to guest house, to community eco-lodge, to a hotel. Normally, accommodation is with two people (same sex) sharing. Details of each night’s accommodation is given in the full day by day itinerary for each challenge. We always aim to use locally owned accommodation, in order to keep profits from the event within the local community. Let us know on your booking form if there is someone specific you would like to share with.
who organises Charity Challenge?
Charity Challenge is the concept of and is administered by Challenges Un Limited, a specialist tour operator formed under the laws of England and Wales (Company No. 03786692).
are Charity Challenge ATOL bonded?
Challenges (Un) Limited are ATOL bonded and our ATOL number is 6546. ATOL is a protection scheme for flights and air holidays, managed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Most firms who sell air travel in the UK are required by law to hold an ATOL licence. ATOL protects clients from losing money or being stranded abroad if the tour operator goes out of business. We lodge bonds with the CAA so that if we were to go out of business, the CAA would give refunds to people who can't travel and arrange for people abroad to finish their holidays and fly home. For further information visit the ATOL website at www.atol.org.uk. This protection only covers holidays that originate in the U.K.
how much of an impact will my long haul flight have on the environment?
The Government aims to reduce the UK's total CO2 emissions by 60 per cent by the year 2050. Virtually everything that we do - including breathing - leads to CO2 emissions, which means we all must do our bit. The public perception is that aviation accounts for the lion's share of these emissions, but this is not the reality. In actual fact, the Stern report says that it accounts for 1.6% of emissions (however it is more damaging to emit CO2 at altitude, so this is equivalent to 3.2% of emissions). Even the clothes we wear account for more emissions per person (on average) than flying. By comparison, our houses are the biggest source of emissions, contributing a staggering 25 per cent. Possible measures to reduce this include: lagging the loft, using low energy light bulbs or turning down the thermostat by a degree. These are all likely to have a greater impact than stopping flying.
However, Charity Challenge is still doing its bit to counter the impact of long haul flying. We are now investing funds into carbon reduction schemes for every passenger who travel with us. We anticipate investing in the region of £60,000 over the next two years to fund projects such as cleaner wood burning stoves in India which reduce CO2 emissions, reduce deforestation and cause less eye problems from smoke.
should I just stop flying altogether?
Tourism is the single biggest service industry in the world (1). Nowadays travel and tourism account for 10.4% percent of the world GDP and 8.2% of total employment worldwide (around 231.2 million jobs) (2). For many developing countries tourism is one of the main income sources and a leading source of foreign exchange in 46 of the 49 Least Developed Countries. (3) Therefore, ceasing all travel to these countries would have a disastrous impact on their economies. Any potential solution to global warming comes at a cost - renewable energy, cleaner technologies, waste reduction processes, etc. If we cut back on flying altogether, the global economy would crash and investment in these areas would suffer. We at Charity Challenge believe that the solution lies in reducing our emissions by overhauling our daily lifestyles. In the meantime, we aim to do what we can to offset the impact of any necessary emissions.
(2) World Travel and Tourism Council (2007). Travel and Tourism Navigating the Path Ahead. The 2007 Travel & Tourism Economic Research.
(3) UNWTO (2007).
can I organise my private group?
Yes you can. Many of our challenges are made up of clubs, corporate teams or groups of friends and family members taking part on their own private challenge. Please refer to the private groups section of our website for more information.
can I raise money for two charities?
No, you may only raise money for one charity registered in the UK or Republic of Ireland. Regardless of the payment option you choose (Self Funder, Minimum Sponsorship or Flexi) we will send an authorisation request to your chosen charity so they can confirm they are happy for you to fundraise on their behalf and in their name. All information displayed in your member’s area and in any emails will be for your one chosen charity. In addition, if you are Minimum Sponsorship or Flexi we will invoice your charity for the balance of your costs and this cannot be split between two separate charities.
why do our challenges appear to cost more than other comparable tours on other challenge operator websites?
We pride ourselves on running our challenges to a very high standard. We fly direct where possible, on weekends to avoid time off work, use comfortable accommodation and have a high ratio of support staff to clients. Our groups are amongst the smallest in the industry as we feel this leads to better group dynamics and a better overall experience. We offset the carbon emissions of the international flights and also make donations to local communities from our profits. Most importantly, many challenge operators’ do not include air taxes. We include air taxes as we understand that all non-optional extras should be included as directed by the Package Travel Regulations, the ABTA Code of Conduct and the Unfair Trading Regulations. When comparing challenges amongst companies, we would advise asking very specifically about such hidden extras and how much you should allow. In addition, we include £100 for self funders which is a direct donation to the charity you are supporting. Finally, we ensure that no more than 45% of the minimum sponsorship goes towards costs, where other companies allow 50% or more to go towards costs. All of these elements impact on the apparent cost of a tour, but it is important to be fully aware of exactly what you are getting for your money.
how is the challenge funded?
There are three ways in which you can fund a Charity Challenge:
With the self funder option, you personally cover the full cost of the challenge (which generally includes a £100 donation to your charity), and raise as much sponsorship as you can. This means that the charity receives at least the £100 donation and every pound that you raise thereafter. The full cost is made up of the deposit which is due at the time of booking and the final
balance which is due eight weeks before departure. The self funder option generally has no minimum sponsorship requirement, although you are still encouraged to raise as much money as you can for the charity. If there is a minimum requirement, you will be notified at the time of booking.
With this option, you pay your deposit when booking the challenge, and pledge to raise a minimum amount of sponsorship for your charity. You will need to send your sponsorship money to the charity as you raise it. At least 80% of the minimum sponsorship required must be sent to the charity ten weeks before departure, and the remaining 20% within four weeks of completing the challenge. If you have raised the necessary funds, the charity will then pay the balance of your expedition costs (which will not exceed 45% of the minimum sponsorship target). The charity benefits by keeping the remaining sponsorship money and every pound over and above that you raise. For example, if the cost of the challenge is £1425, you pay the deposit at the time of booking the challenge (£300), and commit to raise a minimum sponsorship in aid of the charity (£2500). You must send 80% of the minimum sponsorship to the charity ten weeks before departure (which equates to £2000). At this time, the charity will pay the balance of your challenge costs (£1125). You will then have to send the remaining 20% of the minimum sponsorship money to the charity within four weeks of completing the challenge. The charity typically keeps about £1400 of the minimum sponsorship and every pound over and above that you raise.
With the flexi payment option, you pay your deposit when booking the challenge and make a further contribution towards challenge costs (the balance) eight weeks prior to departure. This increases your overall contribution towards the challenge cost and therefore reduces your minimum sponsorship requirement. Your chosen charity will still receive at least 55% of the minimum sponsorship and every pound over and above that you raise. For example, if the cost of the challenge is £1425, you pay the deposit at the time of booking (£300) and commit to raising a ‘reduced’ minimum sponsorship for your chosen charity (£1835). You must send in 80% of the minimum sponsorship to your chosen charity ten weeks prior to departure. At this point, we will invoice you for your contribution towards the balance of challenge costs (a further £300) and the charity for the remaining amount (£825).
Please click here to get a diagram explanation of how the finance works.
what is included in the price?
International flights to and from the UK (usually London) booked in Economy Class; all accommodation during the expedition (usually twin basis), if camping we provide all necessary communal camping and cooking gear; three meals a day (unless otherwise stated); drinking water on challenge days; entrance fees to national parks or other places of interest visited on the itinerary; internal road and air transfers; all ground staff including English speaking guide, drivers, cooks, and porters; full back-up support including first-aid qualified staff and first-aid supplies; activity equipment including bikes, tents, and rafts; a donation of USD$20 to a local community project on your behalf in the area of the challenge; a Charity Challenge T-shirt; and discount on personal equipment from selected stores. We also make a contribution through Climate Care to offset the equivalent CO2 emissions of your international flight.
what is not included?
Transfers to and from UK departure airport; entry visas (if applicable); vaccinations (if applicable); personal equipment; support team tips; personal spending money; overseas airport departure tax (if applicable) and additional activities not included in the itinerary such as excess baggage charges, hotel porterage, all items of personal nature such as laundry, room service charges, drinks, phone calls etc.
NB: We will advise you on the specific requirements of these items in the fact file & Q&A's for your chosen challenge.
how much sponsorship do I have to raise?
Accepting the physical challenge is just the beginning. To participate, you will also be required to raise substantial sponsorship for the charity of your choice. The level of minimum sponsorship is indicated on each of the itineraries. You will be sent fundraising ideas, a sample sponsorship letter, and sponsorship forms. All money should be sent directly to the charity as and when you collect it. Unless you have covered the full cost of your challenge (self funder option), at least 80% of the minimum sponsorship MUST be sent to the charity eight weeks before departure. If you do not achieve this, you risk losing your place on the challenge. This is a Booking Condition for participating on the Charity Challenge. The balance (i.e. the remaining 20%) should be sent to the charity within six weeks of returning to the UK from your challenge.
can my charity claim back gift aid on donations made?
Gifts of money made by taxpaying individuals to charities in respect of sponsoring Charity Challenges will attract 25% tax relief under the Gift Aid scheme. If someone makes a donation to the charity of say £100, the charity can recover a further £25.00 from the Inland Revenue. Furthermore, if the person making the donation is a higher rate taxpayer then they in turn will recover £25 when they submit their tax return. Sponsorship payments made by persons connected to the participant fail the donor benefit rules and so are not eligible for tax relief under the Gift Aid scheme. Sponsorship payments made by persons not connected to the participant can be made under the Gift Aid scheme. So, if all the sponsorship raised by a participant is donated to the participating charity by persons not connected to the participant then all of those individual payments can be Gift Aided. A connected person is the wife or husband, a relative (brother, sister, ancestor (e.g. mother) or lineal descendant (e.g. grandson), the wife or husband of a relative, a company under the control of the donor, or under control of connected persons. For more information, please refer to the Inland Revenue website and enter Gift Aid into its search engine.
why do the deposits and sponsorship levels vary for similar challenges?
As our most popular challenges operate throughout the year, some will take place during the destination’s peak season. During this time, air fares and accommodation costs increase. We have addressed this by either increasing the deposit, the balance or the minimum sponsorship requirement. The peak season supplements currently only apply to two destinations: China (£70) and Nepal (£100). If you have any questions about this, please do not hesitate to contact our office.
what if I can't raise the minimum sponsorship?
In booking your challenge under either the minimum sponsorship or flexi payment options, you are committing to raise a minimum amount of sponsorship for your chosen charity. You will need to send 80% of the sponsorship to the charity 10 weeks before departure, and the remaining 20% within four weeks of returning to the UK. This is a fundamental part of the challenge and if you do not raise the appropriate funds for the charity, the charity will not be able to pay the balance of your challenge costs, and you will therefore not be able to participate on the challenge. The overall objective of the challenge is to help raise funds for the charity so please be realistic when taking on a challenge about raising the funds. We will give you plenty of ideas and advice, hard copy and online sponsorship forms, and the charity you are supporting may also be able to provide additional support materials and advice.