At Charity Challenge January is usually full of excitement about the year to come, filled with exciting challenge adventures. 2021 has been a little bit different as the usual excitement has been overshadowed by the new lockdown restrictions and continued uncertainty.
During these unsettling times our charity partners need our support more than ever. The continued Covid-19 situation puts them in an extremely vulnerable position as not only was a huge portion of their income lost from cancelled fundraising events in 2020 but these vital funds continue to be threatened as the situation continues into 2021. Now is the time we all need to come together to ensure we can continue to help those most in need.
With the vaccine being rolled out in increasing quantities, not only in the UK but around the world, we are still confident that we will be able to get both our UK and overseas challenges up and running again in 2021 with all the appropriate Covid-secure measures in place. We understand that there may be a little uncertainty around booking in the current climate, so we have pulled together the information below to help you book your next Charity Challenge with absolute confidence.
For downloadable pdfs of our Booking with Confidence details click on the relevant link below:
1. Cancellation flexibility
For any new bookings made before 31 March 2021, for an overseas challenge departing before 31 March 2022, 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. 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.
2. Spread the cost of booking a challenge over 2 months
For most international trips, you can book and pay your registration fee in two instalments. You pay the first instalment at the time of booking and we will automatically take the second instalment from the same credit or debit card 31 days later. 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 the second instalment. Your place on the challenge will only be held for 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. Please see our terms and conditions.
3. 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 (this year or next)
- to join any Charity Challenge trip in another country (this year or next)
- to transfer your place to someone else
- to receive a refund of monies paid for the challenge
4. When are Charity Challenge making a final decision regarding if a challenge can take place?
If for any reason we don’t feel your challenge can proceed we will make a decision approximately 12 weeks prior to your challenge (the only exception to this would be if the government advice suddenly changed – between 12 weeks and your challenge date – and then we would be in touch at the earliest convenience).
If for any reason we don’t feel that your challenge can proceed we will make a decision approximately 8 weeks prior to your challenge (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).
5. What if I postpone the challenge and then the later postponed 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 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.
6. Can Charity Challenge help me with my fundraising deadline?
As standard, you should send 80% of your minimum sponsorship target to the charity 10 weeks before an international challenge, and 7 weeks before a UK challenge.
However, your chosen charity may be able offer you some flexibility over this either with the % due, or the number of weeks before departure. We therefore recommend that you speak directly to your specific charity. In most cases charities have been extremely understanding of the difficulties around fundraising during the pandemic and have therefore been willing to move their fundraising deadlines in order to support you to take part in the challenge.
7. What safety measures will Charity Challenge have in place to enable overseas challenges to take place safely?
In 2020 we were able to run a high number of our UK challenges from August through to October when the second lockdown came into force. We were able to do this by vigilantly following a variety of government, local authority and national governing bodies’ guidelines. We used these guidelines to produce our own ‘Covid Safe’ safety management that all of our events needed to adhere to. All of our leaders and crew were given online training to understand and carry out these guidelines. We produced a ‘COVID 19 – Keeping you Safe ’ document that was sent to everyone participating on a challenge.
We are constantly reviewing and updating these guidelines against ever changing government advice and we will let all of our participants know what safety measures will be put in place before their specific challenge.
We are already working with our teams overseas to put in place a number of ‘Covid safe’ systems so that our international challenges can get up and running as soon as it is safe to do so. If it is necessary then this will include things like providing single rooms or tents to all participants, increasing space on vehicles used for transfers and providing facemasks and hand sanitiser at all stages of the challenge. Once we have a greater understanding of what will be required in each destination we will make sure that everyone booked onto an overseas challenge is informed of what measures are being put in place to keep you safe.
In 2020 we worked incredibly hard to keep everyone safe, whilst taking part on a challenge. We produced online safety briefing videos for participants to watch before arriving at the challenge, provided single rooms for everyone when accommodation was required, put on extra buses to enable social distancing to take place on all transfers, and provided bottles of hand sanitiser, facemasks and buffs for everyone taking part on a challenge. We will continue to make sure that your safety is at the centre of every decision we make when it comes to operating our challenges.
8. Is there any travel insurance that provides any kind of cover for Covid-19?
Our travel insurance partners at Campbell Irvine have launched a policy which includes Medical Expenses and Cancellation cover for Covid-19. This is a vital piece of cover for any intended overseas trip, so please do read this information carefully.
Travel Insurance Cover
- Medical emergency treatment overseas and medical repatriation if you are diagnosed with Covid-19.
- Cancellation cover to reimburse you for any irrecoverable payments and charges made for travel and accommodation if you have to cancel your trip due to a doctor diagnosing either you, a close relative or your travelling companion with Covid-19 and as a result being advised not to travel.
- Cancellation due to either you or your travelling companion’s direct exposure to a close relative being diagnosed with Covid-19 resulting in an order via the NHS Test and Trace programme for you to be medically quarantined and not being able to travel.
- Cancellation or Curtailment cover due to denied boarding of public transport if displaying symptoms of Covid-19.
Like all insurance policies, there are specific exclusions, so please read all of the detail before purchasing. For further information on the updated Campbell Irvine Direct travel insurance policy including Covid-19 cover, please see:
- FAQ’s relating to the new Covid-19 policy cover
- Specimen Policy Wording
- Insurance Product Information Document (IPID Summary)
- Click here to get a quote or buy a policy
9. If my challenge includes shared accommodation then how will Charity Challenge manage this safely ?
Many of our UK challenges include accommodation the night before the challenge. For all of our UK challenges we are offering everyone the opportunity to organise their own accommodation and in return we will reduce the cost of the challenge by £30 per night. All you need to do is indicate your intention to book your own accommodation by emailing email@example.com. The refund will then be deducted from your final balance invoice (if you are self funding) or returned to you a month before departure if you are participating under the minimum sponsorship option.
In 2020, Charity Challenge booked single rooms for all participants who booked accommodation with us. For our 2021 challenges we will continue to adhere to government guidelines around accommodation. We will continue to offer all groups safe accommodation options either with single rooms, or potentially with camping options where you would be provided with a single tent.
We will follow all available government guidance regarding shared accommodation facilities. We are working closely with all our accommodation suppliers to ensure that they too are adhering to these guidelines. The precise details as to how these guidelines will be implemented will vary from accommodation to accommodation. You will be informed about the details for your specific challenge in your Final Details document, one month prior to your challenge.
10. 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.
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. firstname.lastname@example.org +44 (0)20 8346 0500