Tag Archive for meet the team

Meet the team – Sarah Fairhead

Sarah Fairhead joined the Charity Challenge team in early 2018 as a Charity and Corporate Account Manager. She plays a vital role in the team, looking after all the wonderful charities and corporates that Charity Challenge is honoured to partner with. Her day to day involves working with key clients to ensure the smooth delivery of their events. We borrowed five minutes of Sarah’s time to find out what she’s enjoyed from her time at Charity Challenge so far.

Sarah Fairhead, Charity Challenge Charity and Corporate Account Manager, at Machu Picchu in Peru

Name: Sarah Fairhead

Location: London, UK

How long have you been working at Charity Challenge?
9 months and loving it!

Tell us a little bit about your background and what you did before joining Charity Challenge? Sarah Fairhead, Charity Challenge Charity and Corporate Account Manager, at Kilimanjaro in Tanzania
I grew up in Hertfordshire and have always been into the great outdoors, I would much rather be camped under the stars than in a 5 star hotel! After many trips hiking UK and European mountains decided to take on my next challenge – Kilimanjaro. Raising money for a local charity and seeing how much hard work they do I decided Charity Challenge was where I needed to be.

What’s your favourite Charity Challenge expedition?
Too many… I would love to experience them all. Patagonia, Trek Transylvania and the Dalai Lama Himalayan Trek would be up there though! The great thing about the challenges are that there is such a wide range that not only challenge and reward you physically but also mentally and emotionally.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
Doing something that I love and working with a product I believe in. I remember the overwhelming sense of achievement I felt on my Kilimanjaro journey and to now be part of a team helping others to reach their goals while raising money for charity is just as incredible.
A highlight of my time with Charity Challenge would be trekking in Peru last October on our Trek to Machu Picchu. We didn’t see any other trekkers for 3 days so felt totally remote. Arriving at Sun Gate as a team felt amazing, the views were also incredible every step of the way (all 3,000 of them!)

Sarah Fairhead, Charity Challenge Charity and Corporate Account Manager, at Machu Picchu in Peru

What advice would you give someone who is looking to do a Charity Challenge?
Train, fundraise and enjoy yourself! This isn’t going to be a holiday, but it will be a truly amazing experience. Think of some quirky fundraising ideas and start these early on to raise as much for your chosen charity as possible. Also make sure to wear any new boots in before your challenge!

How many countries have you visited?
Around 20… Not nearly enough! I am very lucky to have friends in the French Alps so have enjoyed many years in the mountains hiking, climbing and swimming in freezing cold lakes!

What’s your favourite cuisine?
Mexican – The hotter the better!

What three things can’t you live without?
Music, a book, laughing

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself…
When I was quite young I was in a marching band – I played the Glockenspiel!

Meet the team: Alex Crouch

Alex Crouch joined Charity Challenge as our Adventure Travel Consultant and looks after all the important administrative processes within the company, including online registrations, insurance policies and group bookings. Alex plays a vital role in the delivery of Charity Challenge’s national and international expeditions, and is integral to the smooth running of the team. We grabbed five minutes with Alex, to find out about her background and what she enjoys most about her job…

Name: Alex Crouch

Location: London, UK

How long have you been working at Charity Challenge?
Two months – and it’s gone so fast!

Tell us a little bit about your background and what you did before joining Charity Challenge?
I grew up in London and started my career working in the ski industry, selling ski holidays all over the world and getting to explore plenty of destinations across the Alps. I was looking for a way to explore a larger variety of countries, and Charity Challenge seemed like the perfect place to do that. I’ve also had experience working in the charity sector at Save the Children, so Charity Challenge was the perfect place to combine my love of charity work and adventure travel.

What’s your favourite Charity Challenge expedition?
There are so many challenges that look incredible, and I’m hoping to sample one soon! I’d love to go to countries such as Burma or Kyrgyzstan which are less traveled and provide a real sense of adventure.

How many countries have you visited?
I’ve been lucky enough to explore at least 30 countries so far – and there’s so many more to discover!

Where’s next on your list of travel destinations?
I’d absolutely love to go to Oman – it’s right next door to Dubai, but still has so much mystery about it. Charity Challenge have recently launched their Oman Mountain Trek, which looks demanding but equally rewarding. The harsh climate and tough terrain would provide a real sense of achievement at the end!

What’s your favourite cuisine?
Italian if we’re close to home, or South East Asian (Thai, Indonesian, Vietnamese… it’s all delicious!)

What three things can’t you live without?
A photo-taking device, my skis and food – not for survival reasons, I just love cooking and eating different food!

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself…
When I was younger, I was in a documentary about babies. They took me to the zoo…

Meet the team: Mark Borton

Mark Borton is Charity Challenge’s Marketing Manager, and responsible for managing and maintaining the website, delivering our social media strategy, all-things digital analytics related and planning our marketing campaigns. We sat down with him for five minutes to find out more about what inspires him…

Name: Mark Borton

Location: London, UK

How long have you been working at Charity Challenge?
Only six weeks so far – but so far so good!

Tell us a little bit about your background and what you did before joining Charity Challenge?
I’m originally from Melbourne, Australia, where I spent most of my life. Prior to arriving in the UK, I worked for the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Australia, managing their marketing and advertising. However, my partner and I had always dreamed of something different, so two years ago we quit our jobs and travelled around the world. We ended up in London a year ago and haven’t looked back since. London is a place I’ve always wanted to live.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
Being part of a small team means I’ve got greater responsibility than ever before. Previously, I was a small cog in a big team – now, I’m a big cog in a small team. It’s also great to see tangible results and know you had a large part to play in the success.

How many countries have you visited?
At least 40+. I’ve been very fortunate and travelled from an early age.

What’s your favourite Charity Challenge expedition, and why?
I’m interested in off-the-beaten-track destinations, and Madagascar fascinates me. Hopefully, fingers crossed, I’ll be able to explore the country one day.

What advice would you give someone who is looking to do a Charity Challenge?
Enjoy the experience! It’s not a holiday – but the reward for completing something you’ve worked hard to achieve is far better than any relaxing holiday on the beach can provide. You’ll make new friends, experience something incredible, and no doubt be an inspiration to those around you. And that’s pretty cool.

What’s your favourite continental cuisine?
I really can’t look past authentic Italian food. It’s so simple, yet brilliant. That being said, I do find Indian, Portuguese, Moroccan and Thai food completely delicious!

What 3 things can’t you live without?
I probably couldn’t live without my camera, which is always attached to my arm. I should probably mention my partner here, so I’ll add her in! And, finally, the ability to travel and explore. Life wouldn’t be complete without any of those three.

What would your autobiography be called?
I did it my way.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself.
I was the Australian 50m freestyle champion when I was 14 years old…

Meet the team: Phili Newell

Operations Manager, Phili Newell, joined Charity Challenge in 2016 and looks after all of our adventurous expeditions in Asia.

Phili profile

Name: Phili Newell

Location: London, UK

What’s your role at Charity Challenge?
I’m the Operations Manager for our expeditions in Asia, which includes looking after our events in Burma, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Mongolia and Vietnam. The expedition that keeps me the busiest is the Great Wall Discovery in China, as it’s our most popular and the visa application process can sometimes appear slightly overwhelming, but it’s always worth it.

What’s been your favourite Charity Challenge expedition to take on (so far)?
I took part in the Lombok Lava trek in June 2016, and that was a fantastic challenge. We trekked to some of Indonesia’s highest peaks, and were continually inspired by our amazing team of guides and porters who helped us complete the hike! (Read Phili’s blog about the expedition here).

Did you always want to work in the travel industry?
I’ve always been interested in the travel industry, but I am particularly interested in the NGO sector. Before I worked at Charity Challenge, I spent two and a half years working with an NGO in Borneo, implementing a series of sustainable community and natural resource projects. We took groups of young volunteers to the projects to give them insight into the development sector whilst providing them with transferable skills in leadership and team work. At Charity Challenge, there are many similarities; we offer people the opportunity to experience so many different things, including meeting new people, learning about different cultures and pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone. When your resilience is tested, you realise your strengths – and it is this that will get you through challenges that you may face in the future (whatever they may be).

What’s your favourite thing about being the Operations Manager for Asia?
Hearing back from participants who have completed one of our challenges – their sense of achievement is infectious and inspiring.

How many languages can you speak?
I would say 1.5… English, and some Japanese!

What advice would you give someone who is thinking about taking on a Charity Challenge?
Make sure that you train properly for your adventure. The more training you do before you go, the more you will enjoy the challenge. And pack light (follow the advice on our Kit Lists, and you can’t go wrong).

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
London – if I could also have a massive garden and a dog!

What three things can’t you live without?
A sense of humour, Marmite and sunlight.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself…
I hitchhiked on sail boats on the Canadian west coast and eventually got to sail to San Francisco after joining a yacht race. I then painted a house so I could get enough money together to leave the USA to get my return flight back to the UK!