Destination, News

Exciting UK Challenge Update!!

July 8, 2020
Exciting Challenge Update

Following months of global lockdown, closed international borders and social distancing due to the outbreak of Covid-19, restrictions are starting to ease. Charity Challenge have therefore carried out a thorough review of how we operate our challenges and how we can adapt and respond to the new logistical challenge of being Covid safe.   

We are VERY pleased to share that we are looking to restart operating our UK challenges from mid-August in a safe and responsible way. International challenges will follow in time when safe to do so. 

For anyone booked on a National Three Peaks Challenge, we are still awaiting the latest government guidelines regarding transport and accommodation before we make an informed decision on when your challenge is safe to go ahead. 

LAKE DISTRICT 5 PEAKS CHALLENGE

Prepare for an epic challenge through the rugged and dramatic landscape of the Lake District, as you tackle five of England’s most demanding peaks, including its highest – Scafell Pike.

JURASSIC COAST CHALLENGE

This tough one day challenge has you trekking 30 kilometres along the dramatic coastline of the Jurassic Coast UNESCO World heritage site.

SNOWDON AT NIGHT CHALLENGE

Beginning in the town of Llanberis, in the heart of the Snowdonia National Park, this spectacular challenge will see you and fellow fundraisers trekking to the top of Snowdon….at night!

LONDON 10 PEAKS CHALLENGE

Discover ten of London’s often hidden peaks on this new marathon distance walking challenge through 42km of beautiful woodland, nature reserves and quieter spaces.

WELSH 3000S CHALLENGE

Take your challenge experience to the next level with this classic mountain challenge in stunning Snowdonia. All 3000ft mountains, in a single epic weekend. One incredible adventure to test yourself against.

GIANT’S CAUSEWAY CHALLENGE

This tough one day challenge has you trekking a marathon distance along the dramatic coastline of the Giant’s Causeway UNESCO World Heritage site.

Covid-19 – Keeping you Safe on your Challenge

The safety of our customers, leaders, doctors, local ground teams, and the communities we interact with on our challenges, is of paramount importance to us.  A large part of our safety system is ensuring that you, our customers, are fully informed and updated of the best practice guidelines and the measures that we have put in place to keep you  Covid safe.   

For the latest version of our Covid-19 Health & Safety Guidelines please visit here.

We understand that all the changes in the current environment can be extremely overwhelming and may leave you with many questions as we all adapt to the new way of being. To hopefully ease some of your concerns we have pulled together some Covid-19 FAQ’s

Visit Britain We’re Good to Go”

Covid-19-Keeping-you-safe

We are proud to have acquired the UK Industry Standard mark, “We’re good to go” in partnership with the Tourist Organisations of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. This means that our business has followed government and industry Covid-19 guidelines, has a risk assessment in place and a process to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing.

Booking with Confidence

We understand that there may be a little uncertainty around booking in the current climate so we
have created a Booking With Confidence policy to help you book your next Charity Challenge with
absolute confidence.

Book with the knowledge that:

  • We are putting significant measures in place to make your challenge Covid Safe
  • We have flexible payment options
  • We have ATOL and International Passenger Protection financial cover for your peace of mind*
  • We will offer you a number of options if we cannot operate your challenge due to Covid-19 :
    • postpone your challenge to a later departure
    • join any other challenge
    • transfer your place to another person
    • receive a refund of monies paid for the challenge

We hope that the above information has brought some cheer to your day as we know how eager everyone is (including Team Charity Challenge) to get back outside and raise some much need funds for charity! 

For now, we look forward to welcoming you back to an exciting challenge in a couple of months’ time.  

News

Covid-19 : Keeping you Safe on your Challenge

July 7, 2020
Charity Challenge Keeping you safe

Last updated: 7th July 2020

The safety of our customers, leaders, doctors, local ground teams, and the communities we interact with on our challenges, is of paramount importance to us. A large part of our safety system is ensuring that you, our customers, are fully informed and updated of the best practice guidelines and the measures that we have put in place to keep you Covid safe.

This impacts on everyone and requires the active engagement and participation of everyone on every challenge, so please read this document in full and please get in touch if you have any questions. We will put in place control measures to protect our customers, leaders and staff by aiming to prevent anyone arriving on the challenge with Covid-19, by minimising the potential spread of the virus to others in the group or to the communities in which we operate, and by having clear guidelines for responding to anyone displaying Covid-19 symptoms during a challenge.

We ask everyone booked on one of our challenges to check this document carefully in the weeks leading up to your challenge, as it will be updated as guidelines change, so that you understand the latest advice and measures in place.

Downloadable version of our Covid-19 Health & Safety Guidelines available here

CLEAR & TRANSPARENT SOCIAL DISTANCING GUIDELINES

The nature of the virus, and the way in which the UK responds with specific social distancing measures and official guidelines, means that our response will be thorough and fully informed by a number of domestic, international and global health authorities, but as it is constantly evolving and changing, so will our response.

Please rest assured that we will remain connected to best practice guidance and advice and adapt our own processes and procedures to match the latest advice.

Social distancing guidelines about what additional safety measures might be appropriate and when they will apply before, during and after your challenge will be made available to participants in the ‘Final Details’ document we send out about a month before departure for UK challenges (two months for international challenges).

SOURCES OF INFORMATION AND GUIDANCE

It is part of our duty of care to keep up to date with all the latest information from a number of domestic, international and global health authorities.

VISIT BRITAIN “WE’RE GOOD TO GO”

We are proud to have acquired the UK Industry Standard mark, “We’re good to go” in partnership with the Tourist Organisations of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. This means that our business has followed government and industry Covid-19 guidelines, has a risk assessment in place and a process to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing.

FREE CHALLENGE SAFE KIT

There may be moments on your challenge where it’s impossible to maintain a distance of 1 metre from other people. For example using transport, a group shelter, or first aid incidents. As a result we will be providing all participants with a Challenge Safe Kit to reduce the risk of infection on your Charity Challenge.

This includes:

  • A disposable face mask
  • 100ml alcohol-based hand sanitiser (72%)
  • Charity Challenge Buff – Buffs are one of the most versatile items that you can carry on a challenge and can be worn in a variety of ways such as a face mask, balaclava,headband, sun guard, to name a few!

If you’re booked on a UK challenge with us, you’ll receive your kit at your meeting point. If you’re booked on an overseas challenge with us, you’ll receive your kit in the weeks before departure. Hand sanitiser will also be readily available throughout the challenge.

CHALLENGE SAFE

We have developed enhanced Covid-19 standard operating procedures and risk assessments to ensure the safety of our participants, leaders, doctors, local ground teams, and the communities we interact with on our challenges.

Our standard operating procedure (SOP) outlines the guidelines that will be adhered to on all challenge events as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. It forms part of Charity Challenge’s ‘Challenge Safe’ safety management system. A robust safety management system divides responsibility for safety between the provider, leaders and participants. Our SOPs are then used to help create specific risk assessments for each challenge event and each country.

COVID-19 INSURANCE COVER

Your safety is one of our main concerns at Charity Challenge, which is why ensuring you take out extensive travel insurance is an essential part of every booking.

We are therefore delighted to announce that our travel insurance partners at Campbell Irvine are shortly launching their new updated Campbell Irvine Direct travel insurance policy which not only includes medical emergency and repatriation cover due to Covid-19 whilst travelling overseas, but also includes pre-departure cancellation in the event that you or your insured travelling companion are diagnosed with Covid-19 before departure and instructed not to travel by your doctor.

In addition the policy also includes pre-departure cancellation cover if you or your insured travelling companion are directly exposed to someone who has been diagnosed with Coronavirus and through the governments Test and Trace programme you are instructed to quarantine prior to departure preventing you from travelling.

The policy also protects you if you are ordered to quarantine overseas as a result of being directly exposed to someone who is diagnosed with Covid-19 and you incur additional travel
and accommodation costs as a result.

Please note the policy does not extend to include any cover if due to a second wave the government orders another lockdown or the FCO or destination country advises against travel to the destination. In addition, the cover will not apply if you elect to travel against FCO advice.

WORLD TRAVEL AND TOURISM COUNCIL “SAFE TRAVELS”

We are proud to share that we have also received the World Travel and Tourism Council’s (WTTC) “Safe Travel’s” stamp, which provides travellers with assurance that we have adopted health and hygiene global standardised protocols – so you can experience “safe travel”.

COVID-19 BEST PRACTICE TRAINING

Charity Challenge will provide mandatory online training for all leaders and suppliers to explain the contents of the enhanced Covid-19 standard operating procedure and risk assessments.

Our leaders will all be carrying appropriate PPE to use when dealing with any first aid incidents and will have received training about the use of such equipment

TRANSPORT

If your challenge itinerary includes transport, then we will work with the transport supplier to make sure that the correct measures are in place in line with the most up to date government advice.

All vehicles will be cleaned and disinfected immediately prior to participants boarding the vehicle. All participants and leaders will be provided with hand sanitiser to use before boarding the vehicle, and face masks for use as per government advice.

Participants will be allowed to sit in the window seats to maintain social distancing. Whenever possible we will provide 2 seats per person. Transport guidelines will be made available to participants in the ‘Final Details’ document.

EQUIPMENT

Charity Challenge has put in place a strict cleaning schedule to ensure that all equipment will be fully cleaned and disinfected prior to, and where appropriate, during your challenge. This includes the use of bikes, kayaks, buoyancy aids, helmets, paddles and group shelters

ACCOMMODATION

If your challenge itinerary includes accommodation, then we will work with the accommodation supplier to make sure that the correct measures are in place in line with the most up to date government advice. This will include hand washing stations and cleaning schedules for bathrooms, among many other things.

Single room supplement options will be dictated by accommodation policy, and the availability of single rooms. Accommodation guidelines will be made available to participants in the ‘Final Details’ document.

REDUCED GROUP SIZE & STAGGERED STARTS

During the challenge we will be using a greater number of leaders to ensure that the group will be able to maintain social distancing whilst providing you with the same level of support. (Leader ratio to be adjusted based upon government advice, the challenge environment, and group size).

On challenges with larger group sizes we may ask people to choose a ‘walking speed’ group. This will enable us to separate out the group at the start of the challenge and enable social distancing more easily. These groups will be extremely flexible throughout the challenge, so do not worry about being in a group that is either too quick or too slow.

Our Recommendations

  • Check this document carefully in the weeks leading up to your challenge, as it will be updated as guidelines change, so that you understand the latest advice and measures in place.
  • If you think you may have Covid-19 symptoms and you are unsure what to do, use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service.
  • Help us by following all instructions given to you by your leaders, for your own safety and that of the team around you.

Covid-19 Frequently Asked Questions

We understand that all the changes in the current environment can be extremely overwhelming and may leave you with many questions as we all adapt to the new way of being. To hopefully ease some of your concerns we have pulled together some FAQ’s around Covid-19.

We hope the above information provides some support, but if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.

challenges@charitychallenge.com
+44 (0)20 8346 0500

News

Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Outbreak Advisory

July 7, 2020

Updated : 7th July

Following months of global lockdown, closed international borders and social distancing due to the outbreak of Covid-19, restrictions are starting to ease. Charity Challenge have therefore carried out a thorough review of how we operate our challenges and how we can adapt and respond to the new logistical challenge of being Covid safe.   

We are VERY pleased to share that we are looking to restart operating our UK challenges from mid-August in a safe and responsible way. International challenges will follow in time when safe to do so. 

For anyone booked on a National Three Peaks Challenge, we are still awaiting the latest government guidelines regarding transport and accommodation before we make an informed decision on when your challenge is safe to go ahead. 

Covid-19 – Keeping you Safe on your Challenge

The safety of our customers, leaders, doctors, local ground teams, and the communities we interact with on our challenges, is of paramount importance to us.  A large part of our safety system is ensuring that you, our customers, are fully informed and updated of the best practice guidelines and the measures that we have put in place to keep you Covid safe.   

For the latest version of our Covid-19 Health & Safety Guidelines please visit here.  

We understand that all the changes in the current environment can be extremely overwhelming and may leave you with many questions as we all adapt to the new way of being. To hopefully ease some of your concerns we have pulled together some Covid-19 FAQ’s


Information below still applicable : 26th June

Updated : 29th May

The government’s recent announcement means that we are cautiously optimistic that we are beginning to move towards a date when we can resume operating our challenges again.

UK Challenges

  • We have postponed all of our challenges up until the end of July, and we are looking carefully at our challenges due to take place in Aug.
  • Please note: If for any reason we don’t feel your challenge can proceed we will make a decision 8 weeks prior to your challenge date (the only exception to this would be if the Government advice suddenly changed – between 8 weeks and your challenge date – and then we would be in touch at the earliest convenience). We’ll be in touch with final details and joining instructions for your challenge closer to the event.

Overseas Challenges

  • All of our overseas challenges from October onwards are set to take place as planned. We have cancelled, or postponed, all overseas challenges from March-August to later in the year, or to early next year. Passengers travelling in September have been offered the opportunity to postpone their challenge to a later date and we are currently working through options with individuals and charities.
  • Please note: If for any reason we don’t feel your challenge can proceed we will give you as much notice as possible. We can’t give an exact number of weeks prior to departure date, as it will vary depending on the destination and flexibility of the airline, but we will be in touch at least 12 weeks before departure to give you an update on your individual trips status.

We understand that there may be a little uncertainty around booking in the current climate so we have created a Booking with Confidence policy to help you book your next overseas Charity Challenge with absolute confidence.


Updated : 13th May

What does the updated (10th May) Covid-19 lockdown guidelines mean for getting back in the outdoors?

Charity Challenge welcome the government’s inclusion of amended guidelines regarding outdoor activities and exercise earlier this week. However, we fully recognise that there is variation with regards to the guidelines from the different nations of the UK, and that there is a need for local communities to be given time to plan and adjust for these changes.

The overarching trajectory towards easing restrictions and opening up our ability to travel to places in the great outdoors and exercise is a positive sign for our UK challenge’s that are due to take place later this summer.

We would like to take this opportunity to encourage anyone booked on a Charity Challenge trip to read the government’s updated guidelines carefully before undertaking any travel to begin walking or cycling in the outdoors in the coming days and weeks.

In particular we would encourage everyone to read local authorities advice and requests before choosing to travel. Whilst an easing of lockdown guidelines is very welcome, everyone should consider how their actions may impact on the communities and the areas that they are planning to visit.

There is a lot of excellent sources of information available out there. Amongst them we would encourage people to look carefully at some of the following:

What does this mean for Charity Challenge’s UK challenge events?

The government’s recent announcement means that we are cautiously optimistic that we are beginning to move towards a date when we can resume operating our UK challenges again. Currently (as of 11th May) we have postponed all of our challenges up until the end of June, and we are looking carefully at our challenges due to take place in July.

Many of our challenges are reliant on facilities such as accommodation and catering suppliers in order for them to go ahead. The government has indicated that certain hospitality businesses may be able to open in July and we will be closely looking at the advice given and the likely impact on our challenges.

However, our advice remains the same to everyone booked on a UK challenge. Your challenge is scheduled to continue as planned, and we will contact you at 8 weeks prior to your challenge should your challenge be unable to go ahead, or if we need to make any changes to fully reflect the impact of social distancing.

We will be carefully monitoring the government’s updated advice regarding travel to the outdoors, social-distancing, group sizes, use of accommodation and transport. We are hopeful that this will mean that we will be able to begin operating our UK challenges again, but with certain measures in place to make sure that they are done safely.

What does this mean for Charity Challenge’s Overseas challenge events?

The government’s recent announcements don’t give much reassurance, or certainty, around when we will be able to travel overseas again. For the time being our advice therefore remains the same to everyone booked on an overseas challenge:

All of our overseas challenges from September onwards are set to take place as planned. We have cancelled, or postponed, all overseas challenges from March-August to later in the year, or to early next year.

If for any reason we don’t feel your challenge can proceed we will give you as much notice as possible. We can’t give an exact number of weeks prior to departure date, as it will vary depending on the destination and flexibility of the airline, but we will be in touch at least 12 weeks before departure to give you an update on your individual trips status.

We understand that some of you are concerned about travelling overseas this year, and worried about raising your sponsorship money, so in many cases we are also offering people the opportunity to postpone their challenge to a later date. If you would like to know what options we can give you please feel free to drop us an email at challenges@charitychallenge.com, we are here to help and support you.

At the point that we are able to operate our challenges, we will ensure that we take all professional guidance and adopt relevant measures to support you and the local communities during the challenge. We will also confirm any such measures that are put in place.

We would like to say a huge thank you to all of our participants, suppliers and leaders who have been incredibly supportive and patient through what has been a very difficult time.

We can’t wait to be able to get back to what we do best, running incredible challenges for fantastic people raising money for very worthy causes.


Information below still applicable : 24th April

Updated : 17th April

At Charity Challenge, we continue to monitor and assess the various updates, guidelines and requirements being released from Public Heath England and the UK Government in order to guide the actions that need to be taken with the upcoming UK and overseas challenges. The latest update from the UK Government is that the current restrictions must remain in place for at least the next 3 weeks.

What does this mean for your upcoming challenges? This does not change the current actions Charity Challenge have already taken regarding your UK and Overseas challenges.

UK Challenges

  • All of our UK challenges from July onwards are set to take place as planned. All April, May and June challenges have been rescheduled to later in the year.
  • Please note: If for any reason we don’t feel your challenge can proceed we will make a decision 8 weeks prior to your challenge date (the only exception to this would be if the Government advice suddenly changed – between 8 weeks and your challenge date – and then we would be in touch at the earliest convenience). We’ll be in touch with final details and joining instructions for your challenge closer to the event.

Overseas Challenges

  • All of our overseas challenges from August onwards are set to take place as planned. We have cancelled, or postponed, all overseas challenges from March-July to later in the year, or to early next year.
  • Please note: If for any reason we don’t feel your challenge can proceed we will give you as much notice as possible. We can’t give an exact number of weeks prior to departure date, as it will vary depending on the destination and flexibility of the airline, but we will be in touch at least 12 weeks before departure to give you an update on your individual trips status.

As we adapt to the new way of being, the team at Charity Challenge have come up with numerous tips and advice to support our colleagues, challengers, leaders and partners through this unsettling time.

We also hope the following FAQ’S will help answer some of your queries in the interim but if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Stay safe, stay home, stay healthy


Updated : 30th March

As the Covid-19 situation continues, we at Charity Challenge continue to monitor and assess the various updates, guidelines and requirements being released from Public Heath England and the UK Government in order to guide the actions that need to be taken with the upcoming UK and overseas challenges.  

During these unsettling times our Charity partners need our support more than ever.  The current situation puts them in an extremely vulnerable position as a huge portion of their income comes directly from fundraising events such as the London Marathon and other challenge events and races which they have now lost.  Now is the time we all need to come together to ensure we can continue to help those most in need. It is our priority to ensure that, where feasibly and practically possible, all Charity Challenge events will run later in the year if they are able to do so, so that we can continue to support our charity partners.  

Depending on destination, departures within an approximate three to six-month rolling timeframe are being rescheduled, postponed or in rare instances cancelled.  Participants, corporate clients and charity partners are being contacted directly for their particular trip and we would be grateful for everyone to wait for these initial communications from us. 

The Charity Challenge team, like many businesses, have reduced its staffing levels as we have initially postponed almost all of the challenges that would otherwise have been operating from March to June this year.

UK Challenges

  • We have rescheduled all April and May challenges to later in the year and we are currently in the process of rescheduling our June challenges.
  • Currently all of our UK challenges from July onwards are set to take place as planned. We will, of course, update you should this change.

Overseas Challenge

  • We have cancelled, or postponed, all challenges from March-July to later in the year, or to early next year.
  • Currently all of our overseas challenges from August onwards are set to take place as planned. We will, of course, update you should this change.

We have thousands of participants on dozens of challenges that we are trying to support, and we ask you to please be patient and understanding of the situation, as it may take us slightly longer than usual to respond to your query.  We will do our best to get back to you ASAP and we are prioritising the challenges in chronological order.  

If you cannot reach us on the phone, please send your enquiry to info@charitychallenge.com and we will do our best to get back to you as soon as we can. 

For all the trips later in the year which we hope will not be affected, if you are worried about fundraising when you are social distancing then the team at Charity Challenge have put their creative hats on and come up with the following ideas to help: https://bit.ly/3djryeN 

Please stay safe, follow the government guidelines and where possible take advantage of opportunities to keep mentally and physically fit so that you are in good health to tackle your Charity Challenge when it can be done! 


Updated : 16th March

In response to fast-moving events, including the ever more restrictive travel actions being imposed by countries globally, Charity Challenge has taken the blanket step to cancel all remaining overseas trips up to the end of May this year.  All participants have been contacted and offered a postponement, a transfer onto another trip or a full refund.  Subsequent overseas trips will be reviewed on a rolling basis in conjunction with the prevailing Covid-19 situation.  It is guaranteed that the outbreak will end – the only question is when!

For those on UK trips, the outlook is more positive, although under constant review to ensure adherence to government advice.  At this moment all our UK trips will run as planned and should there be any changes participants will be informed immediately.

In the meantime, our thoughts are with you all; our loyal customers, our supportive charity and corporate partners and our dependable operational partners all over the world, and we wish everyone to be sensible, remain positive and to stay safe and secure until this is over. We have put together some Frequently Asked Questions here


Updated : 11th March

As a result of the Covid-19 spread, some governments are implementing strict entry restrictions or bans on travellers who have recently lived in or passed through affected areas, including Italy as the most recent example.  Travellers are responsible for ensuring they satisfy the entry requirements into a country and Charity Challenge would encourage all participants to check their own situations regularly and also ahead of travel, especially if they have visited an affected area recently.  It is also advised that entry requirements, be that visas or electronic travel authorities, are checked to confirm they are still valid, as some governments have annulled existing documentation and require travellers to re-register as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.

For the latest information and advice please use the following links to the international WHO, Public Heath England’s NaTHNaC and the relevant destination from the UK’s FCO.

Charity Challenge will continue to closely monitor events and provide updates as necessary.  It is important for Charity Challenge employees and its overseas partners, many of whom are small businesses or family owned enterprises whose livelihood relies entirely on the travel industry, that participants continue to travel as long as it is safe to do so.  Safety, however, will always come first.


Updated: 28th February

The Covid-19 outbreak continues to spread globally and the WHO provides good daily summary situation reports.  An aspect that doesn’t gain much media attention are the recovery rates which are slowly but steadily increasing; statistics which are good news given the levelling off (certainly in China) of the total caseload.  A good online interactive real time statistics dashboard has been produced by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University, USA.              

Charity Challenge customers can continue to book trips with confidence, knowing that they are in safe hands. 

Currently there is no advice against travel to any of the destinations that Charity Challenge operates in, other than China. Imminent trips to China have already been postponed and challenges for later in the year are planned to run as normal; they are of course constantly under review.

If at any point a booking is affected such that Charity Challenge cannot provide the challenge itinerary in that country, customers will be offered the chance to postpone the challenge, to book on to another destination, or to receive a full refund.

Charity Challenge is committed to ensuring all its customers continue to remain in safe hands during this global outbreak.  Charity Challenge recognises that the situation is changing rapidly and is monitoring things very carefully. 


Updated: 31st January

ADVICE TO TRAVELLING PARTICIPANTS

Charity Challenge will continue to be directed by relevant government authorities regarding health and safety in connection to the coronavirus outbreak.  Currently, the only official UK government travel advisory (from the FCO) to avoid travel is to China and it is currently deemed safe to travel to all other Charity Challenge destinations.  Should that change, the groups and individuals affected will be contacted directly to discuss options and to make alternative arrangements.

All travelling participants, wherever they are going in the world, are requested to apply a high degree of awareness and common sense in the run up to, and during an expedition.   Charity Challenge is committed to not becoming a part of the problem!

Participants are requested to apply a high degree of self-regulation to avoid joining a trip as an infected individual and spreading it, and to avoid contracting or spreading it whilst overseas.  The following is advised:

Prior to Departure

Check the latest travel advisories in your home country and follow the guidelines carefully.  Authoritative advice for UK citizens can be found at NHS Scotland’s fitfortravel and Public Health England’s National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).  The advice and guidelines can sometimes be targeted at those travelling specifically to China but Charity Challenge considers these sensible precautions regardless of expedition destination.  

Limit your risk to exposure by avoiding people or places where risks of infection may be high.  Following your country’s official guidelines carefully will reduce your chances of unwittingly becoming a carrier. 

Do not join a trip if you feel ill or think you may have been exposed to the virus.   There are early reports that the virus can spread asymptomatically i.e. the virus may be transmitted to you via an infected individual who has no idea themselves that they are infected and who shows no signs or symptoms of being ill.  Please do not risk the health of your fellow expedition companions.

Ensure you have adequate health cover to ensure comprehensive cover should you fall ill prior to the trip and have to cancel or require medical support and /or evacuation on the trip itself.

Take extra hand cleansing products such as alcohol-based hand washes.  Currently there is insufficient evidence to support the use of face masks but that may change. If however, you feel more comfortable when transiting airports, you may consider wearing a face mask.

During the Expedition

Maintain extremely high hand and personal hygiene standards.  Hand washing with soap, water and clean towels regularly is the best and, where not available, use alcohol-based hand cleansers.  Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, use tissues only once, disposing of them promptly and carefully, wash hands frequently.

Avoid sharing personal items like drinking bottles

Avoid close contact with people who appear unwell and their personal items

If you become unwell with a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, promptly seek medical attention through your Challenge Leader.  Follow all medical advice given.

On Return Home

Pay attention to your health on return, particularly over the first 14 days.

If you develop symptoms such as those mentioned above or any other ‘Flu like’ or respiratory illness during this period, follow your country’s guidelines carefully, which will likely suggest calling medical providers by telephone in the first instance for advice, to avoid inadvertently spreading the virus.  In England the advice is to call NHS 111 and explain your circumstances.

Inform Charity Challenge immediately if you develop symptoms so that others in the group can be informed, authorities contacted, and any control measures can swiftly be put into action.

Charity Challenge will continue to adhere to international guidelines and be directed by official government authorities.  Participants are advised to keep abreast of developments and apply caution.  Charity Challenge is confident that trips will be run safely and just request participants to play their part and help by following the guidelines carefully


Updated: 29th January

The outbreak continues to spread with confirmed case numbers and fatalities increasing, although mostly still limited to China; numbers outside China are generally still low and mostly single digit.  There are four cases in Europe: three in France and one in Germany.  There have now been reports of the first cases of domestic infection outside of China, in Japan and Germany.  Currently patients commonly present with mild illness although roughly 20% of patients suffer severe symptoms; its widely believed to still predominantly be a risk for the elderly or those with compromised health.

In what is now very much a globally coordinated effort to halt the spread the disease, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has now advised against all but essential travel to mainland China

Furthermore, companies are independently responding, including suspending flights to China.  The global effort to address this emergency is phenomenal, particularly from China itself, and confidence in managing this epidemic is currently high.  The outlook is hard to predict but experts in China suggest that the epidemic could peak in as little as a week to 10 days.

Due to the new FCO advice against travel to China, Charity Challenge will be cancelling all trips to China that are due to depart over the next 2 months and remain confident that existing trips departing later in the year will remain unaffected. 

Groups and individuals whose challenges are affected by this cancellation are being contacted directly to discuss options and to make alternative arrangements.

This advisory will be updated regularly and should any developments in the situation seem likely to impact on challenges scheduled for later in the year, we will contact the relevant participants and groups immediately to discuss options.


Updated: 27th January

The novel (new) coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, outbreak is spreading as predicted with the first reportedly officially recognised cases in Europe reported in France on Friday 24th January from patients who had all travelled from Wuhan; the key factor being these were not transmissions from human to human within Europe, as is happening in China, although it is widely accepted as just a matter of time before this changes.

The number of confirmed cases in mainland China has reportedly risen to almost 3,000, including 81 fatalities.  At this stage the majority of deaths are still linked to either the elderly or those with pre-existing respiratory problems.

As the outbreak progresses the WHO continues to prepare, coordinate and update on a global level, and governments are responding accordingly.  The FCO have increased the restrictions and now advise against all travel to Hubei Province.

Charity Challenge continues to monitor the situation closely.


Original Advisory: 23rd January

Overview

Charity Challenge has been monitoring the latest developments with the China coronavirus outbreak which was first detected in late December 2019 in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, a region which Charity Challenge groups do not visit.

As of 22 January there have been 440 cases and 9 fatalities officially reported, including 10 cases (but no fatalities) in Beijing, a city which does feature on Charity Challenge itineraries.  In addition, the virus has spread from infected individuals from Wuhan to Thailand (2 cases), Japan (1 case), the Republic of Korea (1 case), Taiwan (1 case) and the United States of America (1 case).  The virus is thought to be part of the wide family of diseases which includes the less severe common cold and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) which people recall from 2003. Current unverified reports suggest most of the fatalities have been amongst the elderly or those suffering from other chronic diseases.

It is currently too early to assess the impact this will have in China, regionally in SE Asia and globally and most authorities are waiting for more information upon which to make judgements.  The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) currently only advise against all but essential travel to Wuhan itself, and Public Health England state the risks to travellers to Wuhan itself is moderate and advise travellers there to maintain good hand, respiratory and personal hygiene.  The World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend any restrictions to travel or trade and the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC), Fit For Travel and the National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China are monitoring the situation closely and providing updates regularly.

What Charity Challenge is doing

The response by Charity Challenge will be very much dictated by the advice and instructions from higher national and international authorities.  

As a precautionary measure however, Charity Challenge is re-screening the medical declarations of all participants who are due to travel to China and countries in south-eastern Asia over the next 6 months, who may be at greater risk to respiratory illnesses.

With such a quickly evolving and dynamic event happening, it is too early to predict the outcome of this outbreak and undoubtedly there will be much discussion and development over the next few weeks / months.  We continue to monitor the major sources of reliable information such as the FCO and the WHO.

The first Charity Challenge trips to the region are not departing until late March and currently there is no reason to cancel or find alternative options for these trips.  Charity Challenge, along with their Chinese in-country partners who are already in contact, will continue to monitor the situation closely and should anything change that may impact on the safe delivery of the challenge, any affected groups will be contacted directly.

Participants should direct any concerns to Charity Challenge who have dedicated staff responsible for safety and security.

Destination, News

New UK Challenges – Winter Season 20/21

June 1, 2020

Charity Challenge has been supporting charities to raise millions of pounds for over 20 years. The Covid-19 pandemic has created unprecedented difficulties across every sector of the UK economy. The charity sector in particular is estimated to lose £4billion in income

We have had numerous conversations with charities since the outbreak of coronavirus and, having listened to their needs, we are proud to be launching a new series of UK Charity Challenge events this winter season to support them, including NHS charities, in their time of need. Now is the time we all need to come together.

And just for you, we have launched £1 registration fees on selected challenges!

Yorkshire 3 Peaks at Night

Challenge yourself to complete this classic UK trekking challenge, but with a twist! 38km trek at night to summit the Yorkshire Three Peaks – Ingleborough, Whernside and Pen Y Ghent. Start as the sun sets, and aim to reach the final peak as the sun begins to rise.

Registration Fee only £1! Click here for more information.

South Downs at Night

Push yourself to the limit on this unique night time trek through the South Downs National Park. 42km along the South Downs Way battling fatigue and the demanding terrain of one of southern England’s newest national parks before reaching Beachy Head and Eastbourne as the sun begins to rise.

Registration Fee only £1! Click here for more information.

The Edinburgh 7 Summits Challenge

Take part in this tough 35km urban challenge set in the heart of Edinburgh. Experience hidden routes through this beautiful Scottish city, and experience it from 7 incredible viewpoints! You’ll follow historic waterways, forgotten railways, stop off at castles and palaces and climb to the summit Arthurs Seat – an extinct volcano!

Registration Fee only £1! Click here for more information.

London Royal Park’s Challenge

Challenge yourself to this marathon distance trek between the 10 London Royal Park’s. This epic 42km route will take you across historic parkland and beautiful green spaces, while passing some of the finest architecture in London. From Richmond Park, along the banks of the River Thames, passing iconic Westminster and Buckingham Palace, before ending in Greenwich Park.

Registration Fee only £1! Click here for more information.

Winter Ben Nevis Weekend

An incredible challenge to summit the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis (1344m), in winter! Learn key winter skills, including the use of crampons and ice axes, and then put them to good use to reach the summit where you can enjoy the spectacular views of the Scottish highlands covered in snow.

Registration Fee only £75! Click here for more information.

What precautions are Charity Challenge taking to prevent the spread of infection on their challenge events?

Our challenge events team are taking this issue extremely seriously, so you can be assured that on all of our upcoming challenges we will be launching new Standard Operating Procedures – Covid-19 Response, detailing measures we will be putting in place :

  • BEFORE the challenge
  • DURING the challenge
  • After THE CHALLENGE

At Charity Challenge safety is our primary concern, and at times like this the well-being of our colleagues, challengers, leaders and partners is more important than ever. 

Covid 19 Assurance

Please rest assured that if Charity Challenge cannot operate a challenge in the UK due to legal restrictions around Covid-19, we will offer you a number of options including:

  • The chance to postpone your challenge to a later departure this year
  • The chance to join any other Charity Challenge trip either UK or overseas (please see information regarding differences in challenge costs below)

Please note there are no admin fees to either postpone or change challenges, should we be forced to cancel your existing challenge due to legal restrictions around Covid-19.

If you cannot make an alternative date set for your challenge, and there are no other challenges within our entire portfolio that you would like to move on to, you will be entitled to transfer your place to someone else and we will waive any administration costs (as mentioned in our terms and conditions). 

We hope the above information provides some support, but if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.

info@charitychallenge.com
+44 (0)20 8346 0500

Looking forward to seeing you all soon!

Tips & Advice

Booking with Confidence

May 28, 2020

The team at Charity Challenge are all itching to get back outside and support you on your charity challenge journey, as you raise some much-needed funds for a charity close to your heart. 

During these unsettling times our Charity partners need our support more than ever. The current situation puts them in an extremely vulnerable position as a huge portion of their income comes directly from fundraising events such as the London Marathon and other challenge events and races which they have now lost. Now is the time we all need to come together to ensure we can continue to help those most in need.

We understand that there may be a little uncertainty around booking in the current climate so we have pulled together the below information to help you book your next Charity Challenge with absolute confidence.

Cancellation flexibility

For any bookings made during the next two months (from 01 June 2020 to 31 July 2020), for an overseas challenge departing before 31 March 2021, we will give you the right to cancel and get a full refund of your registration fee up to 90 days before the challenge is due to depart. That’s for any overseas trip departing in the next ten months! We want people considering booking a trip now, to have 100% confidence that their registration fee is protected and that they can cancel without any penalty for whatever reason.*

* For any Trek to Machu Picchu bookings, where Inca Passes have been bought and paid for, we will refund the registration fee less £75 to cover the direct costs incurred for your booking. If the passes have not been purchased, we will refund you in full.


Registration fee in installments

For most international trips, you can book and pay your registration fee in two instalments, over two months. You pay the first instalment at the time of booking and we will automatically take the second instalment from your credit or debit card 31 days later. Please note that when paying your registration fee in instalments, a £10 admin fee will be added to your first registration fee payment. Please note that your booking will not be processed (and we will not send an authorisation request to your charity) until we receive the payment for your second instalment. Your place on the challenge will only be held until 31 days from your initial booking. If we are unable to take your second instalment, your booking will be cancelled, and normal cancellation terms will apply. See terms and conditions


What happens if my Challenge cannot run due to Covid-19?

Please rest assured that if Charity Challenge cannot operate a challenge in the host country due to Covid-19, we will offer you a number of options including the chance to:

  • postpone your challenge to a later departure of the same challenge (this year or next)
  • join any other overseas Charity Challenge trip from our extensive portfolio (this year or next)
  • transfer your place to another person
  • receive a refund of monies paid for the challenge

Please note that in most cases, where trips can be rescheduled in the same financial year, we are waiving our standard admin fees.

What if I postpone the challenge and then the later revised trip is also affected and cannot run due to Covid-19?

Even if you move on to another challenge later in the year or next year, if we still find ourselves in a position where we cannot operate the challenge in the host country due to Covid-19, we will offer you the same options as above, to postpone, to change trips, to transfer your place to someone else or to receive a refund.


What if there is no official advice against travel, but I want to cancel within 90 days of departure?

We respect that some people may feel more comfortable staying at home, and not travelling regardless of the destination or official advice. If you choose to cancel, we will action your request but where there is no FCO advice against travel, our standard cancellation terms will apply (see terms and conditions).


What financial security do Charity Challenge provide?

We provide financial security for flight-inclusive packages by way of our Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (number 6546), issued by the Civil Aviation Authority. When you buy an ATOL protected flight-inclusive challenge from us you will receive an ATOL Certificate in your account area. This lists what is financially protected, where you can get information on what this means for you and who to contact if things go wrong. For further information, visit the ATOL website at www.atol.org.uk.

Not all challenge or travel services offered and sold by us will be protected by the ATOL Scheme. ATOL protection extends primarily to customers who book flight inclusive packages originating in the United Kingdom. We also provide full financial protection for any challenges that are packages but DO NOT include flights (and where you are joining from a European country), by way of an insurance policy held with International Passenger Protection Limited and underwritten by Insurers who are members of the Association of British Insurers & Lloyds Syndicates. For further information please go to www.ipplondon.co.uk.

We hope the above information provides some support and also some comfort in booking with Charity Challenge, but if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get in touch or look at our frequently asked questions:

Email : info@charitychallenge.com 

Call : +44 (0)20 8346 0500

The outdoors are calling …. Time to make some new Charity Challenge memories!!

Inspiration, News

Introducing Minds in the Wild

May 18, 2020

Today marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week from Monday 18 to Sunday 24 May 2020. This is the UK’s national week to raise awareness of mental health and inspire action to promote the message of good mental health for all. The very apt theme for 2020 is ‘kindness’.

“Protecting our mental health is going to be central to us coping with and recovering from the coronavirus pandemic – with the psychological and social impacts likely to outlast the physical symptoms of the virus.” said Mark Rowland, Chief Executive of The Mental Health Foundation.

At Charity Challenge, we are proud to share with you Minds in the Wild, a ground-breaking new initiative created by Geoff McDonald, former VP of HR for Unilever and Simon Albert, director of Charity Challenge, which aims to assist and enable business leaders and their teams to better understand and confront the issues surrounding mental ill health.

What is Minds in the Wild?

Minds in the Wild is a series of life changing charity challenges for business leaders and their employees, delivered in iconic global locations by an award-winning team with incredible outcomes.

The focus is on enhancing your own individual physical and mental well-being whilst undertaking a challenging trek and addressing the importance of improving mental well-being at work in a bid to create healthier and more productive workplaces.

One of the keys outcomes is for all the participants to become agents for change back in their workplace, and to create workplaces where people can talk more openly about their mental and emotional health, as well as raising some money for a charity of their choice.

Mental ill health is the leading cause of workplace absence in the UK. The total cost of staff mental health problems to UK employers is estimated to be around £26 billion each year. Addressing employee mental health is the single most effective tool to reduce absenteeism, presenteeism, staff replacement and loss of productivity.

“The most limiting factor of any business is the energy of its people. Today’s workplaces are fast paced, high pressured, and energy sapping. Businesses need to focus on strategies to energise their staff, not drain them of their energy.” said Geoff McDonald who recently returned from the Indian Himalayas where he provided mental well-being workshops for a group of senior leaders and their employees from a large financial institution.

Challenges

Minds in the Wild is bursting with action-packed itineraries across dozens of destinations around the world, including:  Sahara Desert, Indian Himalayas, Great Wall of China, Atlas Mountains in Morocco, Machu Picchu, Icelandic Lava Fields, Petra in Jordan and many more.

“These challenges can be life changing not only for the individuals who take part, but their colleagues, their families and friends, and their organisations as a whole. It’s an incredibly inspiring and fulfilling process to be a part of.” said Simon Albert, who has been organising challenge events globally for more than 20 years, raising over £59,000,000 for charity.

Each itinerary is designed and adapted to the specific needs of any business. Typically, most trips will last between five and seven days, with every aspect designed to improve employee wellbeing and as such create energised, healthier and more productive workplaces.

In addition, the trips inspire individuals to return to their workplaces as agents of change in addressing the stigma of mental ill health. Regardless of destination, each trip will feature:

Energy & well-being – A performance driver

One of the most limiting resources in organisations today is the energy of their people. Energy is a critical driver of individual, team and organisational performance. More and more, organisations are recognising the importance of the energy of their people as a performance enabler. The better people’s needs are met, the more healthy, happy, engaged, productive, and loyal they become. Take care of them, and they’ll take care of business.

As well as creating agents for change, another one of the key outcomes of our Minds in the Wild challenges is that we are wanting to try and enhance the wellbeing of all those who participate in a challenge.  

But what do we mean by well-being?

What we mean by well-being, and a lot of our thinking around well-being is very much informed by the Warwick Edinburgh Well-being Index.

Physical Health

Our well being is driven by our Physical Health, which in many ways is maintained by sleeping well, being active, eating and drinking well, and, really importantly, learning how to recover. Taking moments out of our day every 2 hours to just have a recovery break. Maybe just 5 minutes to stand in the daylight and just recover, listen to our music – just build that into our every day. Being active, going for a walk, maybe going for a run, walking up or down an escalator, eating and sleeping well. These are all critical elements of physical health.

Emotional Health

The next element of our wellbeing is our Emotional Health, and what we mean by emotional health is our feelings. We have all sorts of feelings, from feeling anxious to sad to happy and content. One of the key drivers of our emotional health and feelings is our ability to connect with friends and family. It’s all about relationships, and maintaining good meaningful relationships with one another. Meaningful connection is really important in maintaining good emotional health, together with financial security.

Mental Health

Then we get our Mental Health, which is more around our cognitive ability, to think in a rational way, concentrate and make good judgement and decisions. Often building that cognitive ability by learning something new is a critical driver of our mental health.

Spiritual Health

And then finally at the apex of the triangle, Warwick Edinburgh talk about Spiritual Health, a sense of purpose and meaning. Just being kind to somebody might be a good expression of this. It was Mark Twain who once said, “the two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why you were born”. Therefore, trying to get an answer to that question, finding a sense of meaning for each day of your life, is a very important driver of our overall well-being.

So mental health is absolutely important, but we can’t have good mental health without good physical, emotional health, and that sense of purpose. It might be as simple as just giving an act of kindness, as you live out that sense of meaning.

Why join a Minds in the Wild challenge?

Whether trekking through the jungle in Cambodia or the Andes Mountains in Peru, these unique events are the ultimate retreat for business leaders and their employees with time and space for creative and strategic thinking. It’s not time away from the business, but time away from distraction.

“Companies have a duty of care to support and look after the mental wellbeing of their employees. Not only because the commercial benefits of a healthier workplace are clear, but because it’s absolutely the right thing to do!”

Brian Heyworth, Global Head of Client Strategy at HSBC

Approximately £8.4 billion a year is lost to absence due to sickness, while reduced productivity at work – also known as presenteeism – accounts for £15.1 billion. Meanwhile the turnover of staff who leave their jobs because of problems with mental health equates to about £2.4 billion.

Fortunately, the tide is now turning, with many businesses waking up to the huge toll that poor mental health can take on employees, employers and businesses overall.  Study after study has proven that exercise, engagement with nature and social interaction also have a positive impact on physical and mental wellbeing. All of these are integral to Minds in the Wild.

Through a series of informal workshops on a Minds in the Wild challenge, specialist mental health and mental well-being speakers will provide a safe environment in which to introduce and discuss the importance of recognising and addressing the stigma of mental ill health, energy and well-being.

Where traditional workshops may be delivered in a training room at the office, sandwiched in between meetings and other distractions, these sessions allow participants to fully immerse themselves in the subject, with time to engage around the camp fire or dining table afterwards, and throughout the following day. It all starts with a conversation, and the challenges provide focused time to do exactly that.

Minds in the Wild

Participant Benefits

Research has proven the massive benefits to physical and mental wellbeing that are derived from:

  • Exercise
  • Connecting with nature
  • Connecting with oneself (Meaning)
  • Connecting with other people
  • Setting & achieving goals
  • Giving
  • Helping others
  • Connecting with meaningful values

Minds in the Wild challenges combine all of these elements, leading to substantially improved wellbeing. Not only will this positively impact the participant’s individual physical and mental health, but also their leadership outlook and the relationship with their teams.

Business Benefits

It can be a game changer for the business, from both a human and commercial perspective, with impact way beyond the life of the trip. Impacts include:

  • Feeling energised
  • Reduced stress levels
  • Increased self esteem
  • Sense of belonging and self worth
  • Having a sense of purpose and meaning
  • Feeling happier
  • Better outlook on life
  • Pride in helping others
  • Improved lifestyle
  • Setting and achieving goals
  • Increased exercise
  • Improved diet and weight loss

“Increasingly leaders in business and their teams are recognising the importance of creating mentally healthy workplaces. Enabling people to get together off site to focus on this important topic in an inspirational environment is worthy of some creative thinking which will pay great dividends.”

John Binns, MBE, Vice Chair of Mind UK and Board Member of the City Mental Health Alliance

Reducing the stigma of mental ill health all starts with a conversation, and these challenges provide focused time to do exactly that.  Bespoke mental health and leadership workshops each evening will inspire and equip employees to become agents of change for mental and emotional well-being in the workplace.

For more information on Minds in the Wild, please watch the video above, or visit our website, call +44 (0)20 8346 0500 or email minds@charitychallenge.com.

Destination, Inspiration

Andean Volcano Challenge – A Trek for Mental Health

April 28, 2020

In March 2020, 81 HSBC colleagues from around the world came together to trek 100km, over 5 days at high altitude, through the Avenue of the Volcanos in Ecuador, to raise awareness about positive mental wellbeing and to support a variety of mental health charities.

Through a series of informal workshops delivered during the challenge, specialist mental health and mental wellbeing professionals Geoff McDonald, Poppy Jaman OBE and Michelle Morgan motivated and inspired participants by providing a safe environment in which to discuss the stigma of mental ill health, and to create advocates for change.

The challenge participants were introduced to the 5 ways to wellness and brought them to life each day.

HSBC Andean Volcano Trek.4

As a result of this life changing challenge the concept “Minds in The Wild” has been created by Geoff McDonald, former VP of HR for Unilever and Simon Albert, director of multi-award-winning tour operator Charity Challenge.

Minds in the Wild is a series of life changing challenges for business leaders and their employees, delivered in iconic global locations by an award-winning team with incredible outcomes.

The focus is on enhancing your own individual physical and mental wellbeing whilst undertaking a challenging trek and addressing the importance of improving mental wellbeing at work in a bid to create healthier and more productive workplaces.

“The most important driver of a person, team, organisation performance is their energy. We get our energy from being healthy, and so why not elevate the health of our people to a strategic priority, as its is a key performance driver. If ever there was the need for a business case for that, COVID 19 is it!” Geoff McDonald

For more information on Minds in the Wild, please visit our website , call +44 (0)20 8346 0500 or email minds@charitychallenge.com.

HSBC Andean Volcano Trek.7

Thank you to all of the HSBC colleagues, the Mental Health Ambassadors, and the Charity Challenge leaders and medical staff for completing the Andean Volcano Challenge – Trek for Mental Health. To date the group have raised over $160,000 for numerous mental health charities across the globe.

Read the fantastic blog written by challenger and lead organiser for HSBC – Scott Pendrey – on his experience in Ecuador.

You can also share in the experience by watching the below video captured by 46 Films. Enjoy!

Tips & Advice

Tips and advice for training at home

April 8, 2020

Exercise is vital for our mental and physical health, and is arguably more important than ever during periods of social distancing and self-isolation. At Charity Challenge, we aspire to see the positive in every situation. So even though we are all going through an incredibly unsettling period in our lives, we have somehow been given a gift to slow down, refocus and take care of ourselves. Now is not the time to sit down and give up, it is the time to put a plan in place and kick start a new training regime, so we are all ready to take on that Charity Challenge when the time allows.

The key to a successful training regime is planning and motivation. Once you start, the endorphins that you release will take care of everything else. To help you get fighting fit for your upcoming challenge, or just to keep in shape without leaving the house, we have put together some of our favourite tips and advice for training at home.

Virtual Charity Challenge

We have turned a selection of your favourite trekking and biking challenges into Virtual Charity Challenges so that everyone can continue to fundraise and train at home. Trek, walk or run 56km over 5 days to get you ready for your upcoming trek to Machu Picchu. Climb 7,120 steps, or 475 flights of stairs to reach the summit of Mt Snowdon. Or cycle 435km over 4 days to take on the London to Paris bike ride. For a full list of Virtual Charity Challenges available read more here

The Altitude Centre – Train at home live stream

Our partners at The Altitude Centre have set up a range of options for you to continue training whilst at home during this time.

  • Live Stream Classes
  • Live Stream Personal Training
  • Live Stream Pilates
  • Live Stream Consultations & remote programming

They have also been extremely kind and given all Charity Challenge participants a free class.  If you choose a Live Stream class from the schedule here and select ‘sign up’ on your chosen class, you will be able to discount a single session to £0 using the code CCfree (case sensitive).  

Tips-and-Advice-for-Training-at-home

Housework & Gardening

While you may not be in a gym pumping iron or hiking up your favourite mountain, it is still exercise and requires you do to work and burn more energy than sitting on the couch watching Netflix. Daily chores like cleaning your house, mopping the floor, mowing the lawn, cleaning the car, even digging & shoveling soil are all examples of moderate exercise, which helps improve health and fitness. We highly recommend putting on some fast tempo music that you really enjoy and dance, while cleaning. Clean home = cardio workout = clear mind. Win – win -win!

Online Sessions

The influx of free online sessions has opened up a whole new world to training at home! Yoga, cardio, Pilates, strength, dance, HIIT, boxing, you name, they have it. These are some of Team Charity Challenge favourites:

Forest Bathing

Forest bathing or ‘shinrin-yoku’ was first developed in Japan in the 1980s, following scientific studies conducted by the government. The results showed that two hours of mindful exploration in a forest could reduce blood pressure, lower cortisol (stress hormone) levels and improve concentration and memory. They also found that trees release chemicals called phytoncides, which have an anti-microbial effect on human bodies, boosting the immune system.

Next time you are social distancing in the local park, forest, or even garden take the time to really focus on the natural world around you: from the rays of sunlight catching the leaves to birdsong echoing from the canopy.  Nature is one of the best prescriptions out there!

Fitness apps

There is a plethora of fitness apps in the marketplace to help you exercise more, track your performance, make your diet healthier, start practicing mindfulness or sleep better. These are some of Team Charity Challenge favourites: FitbitStravaMap My WalkMap My RunSteps App, RunKeeperApple WatchApple Health, and Google Fit


So there you have it, some of our favourite tips and advice for training at home. We would love to see your training progress or learn any other tips you may have while social distancing. Please share via Facebook InstagramTwitter or email us at info@charitychallenge.com

Good luck, stay safe and stay at home.

News

Do you have what it takes to take on a Virtual Charity Challenge?

April 6, 2020

Just because we are self-isolating, it does not mean our fundraising and training needs to be put on hold. In fact, some would say we have been given an “opportunity” to finally focus on ourselves and kick start a new training regime.

The latest advice from Public Health England is to:

  • Stay at home
  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home)
  • If you go out, stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people at all times
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home
  • Do not meet others, even friends or family.

So as we all adjust to the new way of being, why not take on a Virtual Charity Challenge.

What is a Virtual Charity Challenge?

We have turned a selection of your favourite Charity Challenge trek and bike challenges into virtual challenges so everyone can continue to fundraise and train at home. Hooray!

Virtual Charity Challenge

Virtual Peak Challenge

Climb the equivalent height of your favourite mountain on your stairs or steps at home. This is also a good opportunity to test out any new gear and ensure everything is well worn in for when your Charity Challenge event takes place. To keep the peace at home please ensure all muddy boots are spotless before you commence the challenge! To make it even more challenging we recommend you add some weight to your day pack, this is guaranteed to get the heart pumping.

  • Scafell Pike, 978m, England, 6,180 steps
  • Snowdon, 1085m, Wales, 7,120 steps
  • Ben Nevis, 1345m, Scotland, 8,810 steps
  • Mont Blanc, 4810m, France, 30,420 steps,
  • Kilimajaro, 5895m, Tanzania, 38,680 steps
  • Everest, 8848m, Nepal, 58,070 steps
Virtual Charity Challenge

Virtual Cycling Challenge

Hop on your bike and pedal the distance of your favourite Charity Challenge cycling events. If you want to ride indoors, you have two options:  create your own indoor cycling setup at home, for which you’ll either need a turbo trainer (which turns your regular bike into an indoor trainer) or a dedicated indoor training bike. If you go outside, stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people at all times.

Virtual Trekking or Running Challenge

Trek or run the distance of your favourite UK and overseas Charity Challenge treks.  To carry out this challenge at home you have four options:

  1. Invest in a treadmill. As far as exercise equipment goes, treadmills are one of the easiest to use, although may be a little pricey
  2. Trekking / running inside your home or garden. Map out a route and try to cause as little damage as possible! Try not to interrupt anyone at home, and please don’t ruin any carpets or flower beds in the process
  3. Trekking / running in place. One of the biggest advantages choosing this option is doesn’t require much space—in fact, you really only need to be able to take 1-2 steps in a single direction! Just find a perfect spot and start stepping.
  4. If you go outside, stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people at all times.

How do I take part in a Virtual Charity Challenge?

It is super easy to get involved. All you need to do is follow the below steps and you are in!

  1. Decide what Virtual Charity Challenge you and / or your household / team would like to take part in and take note of how many steps or what distance is required to complete the challenge
  2. If you want to raise money, choose a charity to support and set up a justgiving page to start fundraising for them
  3. Ensure you have an option to track your performance. There are multiple options on the market, we have selected a few of our favourites below: Fitbit, Strava, Map My Walk, Map My Run, Steps App, RunKeeper, Apple Watch, Apple Health, and Google Fit
  4. Commence the challenge and share your progress with us on social media. Don’t forget to tag us in your posts to be included in the Virtual Charity Challenge:
  5. If you are competing with a virtual team tag the person you are handing over to
  6. Once you have completed the challenge, share the fitness app or phone screenshot on social media, and don’t forget to tag us so we can message you a jpeg certificate of completion for you to share with all your supporters
  7. Now it’s time for you to challenge someone else! Nominate the person who you think could take on this challenge by tagging them in your social post – then it’s up to them! 

Why should I take part in a Virtual Charity Challenge?

Support a cause that is close to your heart

During these unsettling times our charity partners need our support more than ever. The current situation puts them in an extremely vulnerable position as a huge portion of their income comes directly from fundraising events such as the London Marathon and other challenge events and races which they have now lost. Now is the time we all need to come together to ensure we can continue to help those most in need.

Improves your mood

It’s true, one of the best ways to handle a stressful day at work, or a hectic home-life is to pound it all away with a run, or an exercise DVD or some aerobic sessions. When you exercise, endorphins are released and start coursing through your system, releasing a wave of positive vibes, which makes everything seem just that bit more manageable! April is Stress Awareness Month so there is no better time to get involved and support your mental health.

Helps you lose weight

This is rather an obvious one, but it’s such a massive benefit of getting fit that we had to include it in the list! Fast-paced interval training is the best for fat burning, whilst jogging and regular exercise sessions are great at building your metabolism.

Lowers blood pressure

When you run, stretch and exercise your arteries get flexed, in effect giving them as much of a workout as you are giving the rest of your body. So, by keeping your arteries flexed and wide, you’ll be lowering your risk and developing high blood pressure.

Personal development

Every loves the feeling of completing a challenge. The level of self-worth increases dramatically when we put our minds to something, and we succeed. In our current world we find ourselves losing control of our regular way of being. This is a chance to take back some control, to keep focused and energised during these unsettling times.


So there you have it, very easy steps to take on a Virtual Charity Challenge while we are all riding the wave of the Corona virus (COVID-19). We cannot wait to see your progress online – don’t forget to tag us using #virtualcharitychallenge so that we can see how you get on!

Good luck, stay safe and stay at home.

Tips & Advice

How to fundraise when you are social distancing?

March 22, 2020

As we all go through this uncertain climate with COVID-19 (Coronavirus) a common question from our challengers is how can I fundraise when I am social distancing? Fear not! The team at Charity Challenge have put their creative hats on and come up with the following ideas:

How to fundraise when you are social distancing?

Spring Clean

It is officially the start of Spring so there is no better time to have a clear out! We all have that hidden place at home where we keep unused toys, homeware, unwanted gifts etc. For anything that is still in good condition you can sell on platforms such as Ebay, Amazon Marketplace, Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace, and Shopify. Please ensure that you clean and disinfect everything before passing them on.

How to fundraise when you are social distancing?

Neighbourhood Support

This can be a scary time for those who are unable to leave their homes. Offer up your services to your neighbours currently self-isolating by dog walking, shopping, car washing, rubbish collection, gardening etc. Just print off some cards offering your services, deliver them through your neighbours letter boxes and wait for the phone to ring.

Live Stream Events

Fundraising events do not need to stop just because we need to social distance. We live in the digital era so now is the perfect time to use your creative skills and live stream an event.

What events can I live stream?

  • Pretty much anything you can think of! Coffee mornings, Karaoke contest, dance parties, pub quizzes, fitness classes, online auctions, rock-paper-scissors tournament, online gaming tournament, head shaving etc…

What you need to live stream?

  • Laptop or phone, microphone, speakers, internet access, and a tripod or a steady hand!

What platforms can I use?

How to fundraise when you are social distancing?

Practise Social Distancing Outdoors

Lots of people are unsure if they are still able to go outside. Sport England quoted that “being as active as possible really matters during this period – not just for your physical health but also for your well-being”. The official advice from Public Health England is constantly evolving, but right now once everyone meets the guidance on social distancing the outdoors is not out of bounds. Hooray!! This means you can still get outside and set yourself a fundraising challenge such as a 5k run or a 10km walk.

Private Tuition

Release your inner teacher and put your previous training to use by offering private tuition online via Skype, from French to flamenco!

How to fundraise when you are social distancing?

Art & Crafts

Keep the kids and yourself occupied with your favourite arts & crafts. Not only is this a great way to fundraise, this is a fantastic activity for your mental health. The joy of creating something from scratch offers unlimited satisfaction and pride! Ideas such as card making, flower arrangements, wreaths, table centre pieces, friendship bracelets, jewellery making, knitting, crochet, candles, fairy doors, decorations, etc.. The possibilities are endless!


Do you have any further creative ideas on how to fundraise when you are social distancing? We would to hear them. Please share via Facebook , Instagram, Twitter or email us at info@charitychallenge.com

News

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) FAQ’s

March 13, 2020

Charity Challenge has been in business for over 20 years and in that time has had to face a number of situations affecting travel including SARS, terrorism, volcanic explosions, Bird Flu, Ebola, Zika, strikes, war and threat of war and many other scenarios.  It has been stressful at times, but we have managed to get through them all and we remain hopeful and confident that the peak of the current pandemic will be reached in the coming few months and that things will return to normality soon after.

We appreciate that with 24-hour updates from around the world, first-hand accounts, videos, statistics, maps and live streams, it’s hard to not feel impacted even though most of us continue to go about our daily lives the same as before Covid-19 was named! We catch the tube, go to work, visit friends, eat in restaurants and meet friends and family.

We know that you have questions around your bookings with Charity Challenge, or perhaps you are considering what to do about making a booking and wanting to know what your options are. I hope the following Q&As will help you but please do email us if you have any other questions.

We will do our best to respond to you ASAP but as you will see below, we are prioritising the enquiries from participants for trips departing in the next few weeks and please be understanding if it takes a little longer than usual to respond to any emails.

What happens if I make a booking with Charity Challenge and the trip can’t run due to Covid-19?

Please rest assured that if Charity Challenge cannot operate a challenge in the host country due to Covid-19, we will offer you a number of options including:

  • the chance to postpone your challenge to a later departure (this year or next)
  • to join any Charity Challenge trip in another country (this year or next)
  • to receive a refund of monies paid for the challenge

Please note there are no admin fees to either postpone or change destinations, should we be forced to cancel your existing challenge.

What if I postpone the challenge and then the later trip is also affected?

Even if you move on to another challenge later in the year or next year, if we still find ourselves in a position where we cannot operate the challenge in the host country, we will offer you the same options as above, to postpone, to change trips or to receive a refund.

What if the challenge costs are different on the new challenge I ask to move on to?

Depending on which payment option you have booked with, we will either invoice you or refund you on the difference between the registration fees, and you will either have to raise more or less sponsorship based on the new challenge minimum sponsorship levels.

When will you make the decision if you have to cancel my challenge?

We currently have 1000s of participants booked on hundreds of challenges over the next 24 months. As you would expect, we are prioritising groups that are departing imminently and will continue to work through the next challenges in date order. 

We do anticipate that within a month, or two things will be much clearer, and we expect trips for later in 2020 to proceed as planned.

There is no set time to make this decision, but we will try and let you know around 2-3 weeks before departure if the advice is against travel. Advice that is in place today, could be lifted tomorrow, and there could be no negative travel advice today and then it is added tomorrow. The situation is very changeable, and where we can still operate your challenge, we will do so. If advice has been against travel and this is still in place 2-3 weeks before departure, we will ensure we speak to you individually and communicate your options.

On what basis are you deciding whether to cancel or not?

We are continuously monitoring the advice from the UK authorities (Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), and Public Health England (PHE)), the global health authorities (World Health Organisation (WHO)), the government advice from the host countries we are travelling to, our ground agent’s perspective of things on the ground, the airlines we fly with, and a number of other national government authorities including the US State Department, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Canadian government travel advisories. If we are advised against travel by the FCO or prevented from operating your challenge in the host country due to local restrictions, we will cancel your challenge.

What if there is no official advice against travel, but I want to cancel anyway?

We respect that some people may feel more comfortable staying at home, and not travelling regardless of the destination or official advice. If you choose to cancel, we will action your request but where we are still able to operate the challenge, our standard cancellation terms will apply (see terms and conditions).

What if my trip is ground only and I have booked flights myself?

Where a challenge is ground only, you will be responsible for your international travel arrangements to and from the host country. If your trip is cancelled, you will need to liaise with your airline over any changes that need to be made. If official travel advice is given against travel to that country, or the host country refuses to accept flights from the UK, the airline is likely to be flexible over changes to dates and routes. If however, you cancel of your own accord, despite there being no advice against travel to the host country, the airline is likely to be less flexible. Each airline will have different policies, but you must discuss the situation with them to see what they can and cannot do.

What precautions are the airlines / airports doing to protect the spread of infection?

Every airline differs, but most are taking hygiene to new levels:

  • Enhanced cleaning processes – Surfaces can harbour the virus, so janitorial staff at airports across the country are cleaning more frequently and paying special attention to disinfecting high-touch areas like handrails, elevator buttons, door handles, counter tops and food court areas. Planes will also undergo enhanced cleaning, according to multiple airlines including disinfecting surfaces after each flight.
  • Hand sanitizer everywhere – Passengers are more likely to see hand sanitizer on ticket counters, at boarding gates, customer service desks, baggage service offices and lounges. Airlines are setting up their own hand sanitizer dispensers at places like check-in counters and gates in addition to the ones the airports are installing, and on planes too.
  • Air quality – Many airlines have filtration systems for a cabin free of airborne contaminate

Is my travel insurance policy likely to cover me if I am affected by Covid-19?

The travel insurance that Charity Challenge has provided in the past (through Endsleigh) and currently offers (through Campbell Irvine) to date, provide support as follows:

  • If a participant is taken ill with the Coronavirus prior to their trip and is unable to travel they will be able to lodge a claim under the cancellation and curtailment section.
  • If a participant is in compulsory quarantine on the order of a treating medical practitioner in the UK, they will be able to lodge a claim under the cancellation and curtailment section of the policy.
  • If the beneficiary needs medical assistance whilst on the trip for coronavirus, this is also covered.

Do I have to pay my balance for imminent trips, or can I wait and see?

We are continuing to make the plans for your challenge and if you have been invoiced, please continue to pay as normal. If as above, we cannot operate the challenge in the host country due to Covid-19, you will have the chance to postpone, change destination or get a refund.

What if my fundraising is impacted by not being able to host planned fundraising events?

If you have any concerns around your fundraising, and current restrictions that would mean cancelling your fundraising activities, please speak directly to your chosen charity.


If you have any further questions regarding your challenge please do not hesitate to contact us.

+44 (0)20 8346 0500

info@charitychallenge.com