We have received an unusual number of calls today asking if everything was OK!
The reason for this concern is that some of you may have read in the National Press, and heard on Radio 4, about a company specialising in charity challenge style events that has gone into administration.
The company in question (GBCE Ltd, trading as Student Adventures) was a small organisation specialising in low budget university student groups. Sadly, it has developed a poor reputation in the industry over the last 18 months. The company did not renew their ATOL licence earlier this year but continued to trade and, today, went into administration leaving their clients without services in the destination country.
I am very pleased to tell you that Charity Challenge is in no way connected or affiliated to Student Adventures or their holding company.
Today’s events have been reported in Travel Weekly and The Independent, “As Nottingham University were about to check in for their flight to Tanzania via Dubai to climb Kilimanjaro, the organisers sent out an email saying they had gone out of business.”
The firm advised clients that while they could fly as planned, ground arrangements had been annulled: “We are unable to provide any services for you as a customer of ours whilst you are in-country in Tanzania.” The message added: “We are deeply sorry that we have not been able to meet our commitments to you and it was our honest intention to fulfill (sic) our service and obligation to you.”
OUR SUCCESS SPEAKS FOR ITSELF:
Charity Challenge has been trading very successfully for over 15 years and was one of the pioneers in challenge expeditions. Charity Challenge is now the world’s leading fundraising challenge company. We have helped over 1700 charities to raise in excess of £40m and have taken tens of thousands of people on life changing expeditions.
Voted best Challenge Company by the Institute of Fundraising Awards in 2013 and 2014, Charity Challenge has been involved in many of the sector’s most successful challenges including the Comic Relief climb of Kilimanjaro and the Hell and High Water Challenge down the Zambezi.
Many new inexperienced companies have been established in the last few years and started to offer similar challenge events and have cut costs substantially to compete, which has had a direct impact on the quality and safety of the services that they can offer.
At Charity Challenge, we pride ourselves in providing exceptionally well thought through, risk assessed, professionally managed challenges with outstanding levels of quality and safety. For charity and corporate groups, it is their reputation in our hands, and for the participants, it is your wellbeing.
HOW WE CAN HELP YOU IF YOU ARE AFFECTED BY TODAY’S NEWS:
If you are booked with Charity Challenge, please know that you are in very safe hands.
If you have booked with Student Adventures and manage to secure a refund, we will offer you £100 off of any of our overseas challenges (excluding London to Paris).
If you are in a group and have flights and no ground services, please get in touch as we may be able to provide you with the services you require.
If you have a group but no services booked, we can potentially organise a full package for you.
From Simon Albert, Founder & Managing Director of Charity Challenge