Tag Archive for Simon Albert

The British Citizen Awards!!!

The British Citizen Awards were held for the first time this year, hosted by Baroness Cox at the Palace of Westminster yesterday. The award was created to recognise and celebrate the achievements of ordinary people that do extraordinary things. One of the nominees and WINNERS is a familiar face around these parts, Simon Albert, Managing Director of Charity Challenge! Simon received his award last Thursday, one of only 30 Britons to do so!

Congratulations Simon!

british citizen

So far Charity Challenge has helped raise over £40million for more than 1,700 UK and Irish- registered charities inspiring thousands of individuals, charities and corporate organisations to step outside their comfort zones. Simon has donated more than £500,000 of the organisation’s own funds to local community projects in developing countries, to help advance education, sanitation and environmental protection. This has ranged from funding access to education for rural communities, to providing medical facilities where they are most in need.

On being nominated… “I feel so privileged to be able to do something I love and am passionate about, whilst at the same time supporting individuals to achieve their goals and charities to gain much needed support. To receive this award is really unbelievable and I hope I can do it justice and continue to help raise many millions more in the future!

The idea behind Charity Challenge is to inspire people to push themselves out of their comfort zones whilst raising vital funds for incredible organisations both at home and abroad. Initially inspired by trekking through Petra, Simon realised that the there was a serious lack, particularly for younger people to raise money for charity in an inspirational and challenging way. So, from the humble beginnings of a one man band in a Harry Potter- esque room, Charity Challenge was born!

Just 8 years later, in 2007, the Community Challenge programme was launched, involving clients going to a number of developing countries and working with local NGOs to build houses, schools and community centres. Although due to launch it in January 2005, on Boxing Day 2004 the Asian tsunami occurred. “We had never worked in Sri Lanka and had no ground handler or charity partner, but we knew that this was something where we could have a positive impact and, driven by this desire to help, we set up and launched a programme with Habitat for Humanity GB that took us to tsunami-affected communities in Sri Lanka and India”. The Community Challenge program received recognition by being highly commended by the Queen’s Award for sustainable development and was winner of the Virgin Holidays Responsible Travel Awards, which was run globally. It was the second best in the whole world for the category of Poverty Reduction!

Shortly after Charity Challenge were approached and appointed to organise the Comic Relief BT Red Nose Climb which involved Gary Barlow, Cheryl Cole and a host of other celebrities climbing Kilimanjaro. Co-Director Jeremy Gane successfully organised and escorted a team and crew of 34 participants to the top of Kilimanjaro with 100% success including a huge BBC crew, a team from Radio One, the celebrities, photographers, journalists, charity representatives and support crew! The trip went on to raise more than £3.32million for fighting malaria in Africa.

2015 sees Charity Challenge creating new challenges with a focus on our home soil in the form of our great Great British Challenges, as well as exciting new ventures overseas. This continued commitment to helping people push themselves, reach new goals and tick one of their bucket list in the name of good causes is what we’re all about! Let’s hope it’s our best year yet! simon award

A new generation of inspiration

We receive lots of enquiries on a daily basis, but this one stood out. It was from Faye Vanstone, a 9 year old who wanted to do something (climb Mount Snowdon) for charity. We don’t ordinarily take under 16s, so the answer was unfortunately (initially at least) “no”.

But having three sons of my own, and knowing how much they go on about when they will be able to do a Charity Challenge, it started me thinking.
Here’s what happened…

SNOWDON CHALLENGE (written by Faye Vanstone, aged 9)

My family and some of my friends have been affected by cancer. So I felt I wanted to do something for a cancer charity to help them find more ways of curing the disease.

In Year 4 at school one of our topics was Mountains and rivers. I decided I wanted to climb a Mountain and thought it would be a good idea to use this as a challenge and a way of trying to raise money for Cancer Research.

GroupI got in-touch with several charity organisations by myself and eventually one responded. That was Charity Challenge. Simon, the director of Charity Challenge, kindly said he would look at the possibility of helping me to achieve what I wanted to do to raise money for Cancer Research. Simon was so inspired by my email he planned and booked the event to climb up Snowdon! He even joined us with his two oldest sons, Benji (aged 10) and Gadi (aged 8) and their friend Jake (aged 10), and they raised money for Wateraid.

Simon also organised a professional guide, Dan, who came with two other “young people” Chloe and Ethan. My mum, step dad and Dad came with me for support while walking, with my Granny and Grandad waiting at the bottom of the mountain to congratulate us all on our return.

The Challenge walking up was the steepest parts as there was so much fog and it was so hard to see anything in front of you! In parts you couldn’t see more than a few meters in front of you. We all had a trip or a fall and wondered how long it would take (and kept askingFaye, “how much further?”) but we persisted and were all so pleased when we got to the top and had a rest and realised what we had achieved. Then the challenge of getting back down again started!!

It was hard work but all of the training paid off and we accomplished our goal. I set out to raise £400 and so far have managed to raise over £660.

Any further donations for Cancer Research can be given through my just giving page. I have been so grateful for all the money raised so far for this exceptional charity. http://www.justgiving.com/Faye-Vanstone1

Thank you so much Charity Challenge!

Faye Vanstone

Benji, Gadi and Jake were raising money for Wateraid. Here’s what they said on their fundraising page:

748 million people – roughly one in ten of the world’s population – have no choice but to get water from wherever they can, whether it’s a dirty pond or an expensive water vendor.

2.5 billion people – one in three of the world’s population – don’t have access to adequate toilet facilities.

Over 500,000 children die every year from diarrhoea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation. That’s over 1,400 children a day.

We (Jake Lowy, Benji Albert and Gadi Albert) don’t think that’s right and we want to try and help change that. So we are going to climb Mount Snowdon in Wales and are trying to raise as much money as we can to help WaterAid, who help provide clean water solutions for rural communities around the world.  

Please help us to help them. Thank you.  https://www.justgiving.com/snowdonforwateraid

Simon Albert

If Faye, Benji, Gadi and Jake have inspired you to do a challenge and raise money for charity, then please click here.

100 years on from Captain Scott!

Here at Charity Challenge we thought we had a lot to pack ahead of the forthcoming expeditions to the North Pole later this month. Our team have been busy making up dozens of crates and hundreds of kilos of chocolate and freeze dried meals and soups, and packing up group equipment, including sledges, tents, clothing, ropes and skis. But this is the Twenty First Century and thanks to the advances of modern aviation and cutting edge polar technology, the preparations should run relatively smoothly.

And if we weren’t already aware of that, a recent trip to the Natural History Museum proved to us at Charity Challenge that we have nothing to complain about. Scott’s Last Expedition offers a fascinating insight into the explorer’s doomed journey to become the first man to reach the South Pole 100 years ago. They had to pack literally tonnes of equipment, horses, dogs, scientific equipment, and so on for a three year expedition, including even the building materials for their “hut” on the ice for the duration of the expedition.

The exhibition, which runs until September, promises to go beyond the familiar tales of Scott’s three-year journey to the South Pole (1910-1913) and it doesn’t disappoint. The focus is on the everyday stories and activities of the people who took part, their scientific work and unforgettable human endurance.

Visitors can easily spend a couple of hours in the exhibition, reading about everything from the mammoth task of planning the trip to the heart wrenching words of Scott’s final diary entries.

In planning the Terra Nova expedition, Scott had to approach dozens of sponsors who he hoped would help fund the trip. Some lent financial support, while others provided some of the many tonnes of provisions that were loaded on board for the epic trip.

The exhibition then moves into a reconstruction of the hut where Scott and his men lived for much of their time in this inhospitable part of the world. Once inside, you get to see exactly where the men slept, ate and passed the many days that they spent there.

In most people’s minds, Scott is known as being the ultimate explorer, but perhaps what is less well known is just how much scientific research was done while the men were away. The ambitious programme covered a broad range of specialisms including meteorology, zoology and geography. The exhibition features a lot of this work and emphasizes the significance of the discoveries made, even to this day.

Had Scott lived to tell his tale, his experience would have still been overshadowed by the success of Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, who beat the British team to the Pole by a month. Curators have compared the two missions, highlighting what might have made the Norwegian efforts more successful.

This extremely moving exhibition, which marks the centenary of Scott reaching the pole and his tragic death, features over 200 rare specimens and original artefacts. Many items, such as clothing, skis, food, tools and diaries are being shown together for the first time.

Simon Albert, director of Charity Challenge, said: “I had the pleasure of visiting the Natural History Museum exhibition last week about Captain Scott and his final Antarctic expedition that took place 100 years ago. It was absolutely fascinating and has totally hooked me in. I can’t stop reading about it now and I just wanted to strongly recommend it to anyone interested in adventure and exploration.”

To find out more or to book a ticket, visit www.nhm.ac.uk/visit-us/whats-on/temporary-exhibitions/scott-last-expedition/index.html

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Happy 40th Birthday to Charity Challenge Director Simon Albert!

Happy Birthday to Charity Challenge Director Simon Albert, who is celebrating turning 40 today. In his honour, we have decided to take some time out to look back on some of his amazing achievements both in business and in life;

Few people have experienced the world as much as Simon has, not only has he summited Mt Kilimanjaro, Trekked in the Himalayas and scuba dived with sharks in Fiji, he has also  journeyed throughout the Far East, Australasia and Pacific Islands, motor-biked through Vietnam (before Ewan Mcgregor and Charley Boorman made it cool!), helped to build a youth hostel in Thailand,  went white water rafting on the Kali Gandaki in Nepal and helped build a road on Mana Island (which was and still is hereafter known as ‘Simon Avenue’).

In October 1998, Inspired by all his adventures, Simon decided to set up his own company that helps people have their very own adventures of a life-time, whilst raising money for charity. SmallWorld Adventures Ltd (soon to be known as Charity Challenge) started making waves and Simon quickly became known in the industry for his infectious energy and enthusiasm and his strict uniform of checked shirts, jeans and trainers.

In February 2009 Simon played an instrumental part in organising the Comic Relief Celebrity Kilimanjaro Climb, which saw several well-known faces such as Gary Barlow,  Cheryl  Cole and Chris Moyles summit Mt Kilimanjaro and raise over a whopping  £3.35million for comic relief! This was a massive game changer for Charity Challenge and since then it has gone from strength to strength! Charity Challenge has now helped thousands of people to raise over £30m for over 1200 different charities and our portfolio currently includes treks, bike rides, mountain climbs, rafting, sky diving, dog sledding, skiing and community challenges in more than 30 countries worldwide as well as two ground-breaking treks to geographic North and South Poles.

One thing that hasn’t changed is Simon’s vibrant enigmatic personality, drive to push the company forward and his passion for travel. Simon’s 40th Birthday has coincided with a very exciting and busy time for Charity Challenge, as (after a lot of hard work!) Charity Challenge has now launched a new operation out of Toronto, Canada for the North American market! Which we have very high hopes for!

So after 40 years of life and  12 years of Charity Challenge, Simon has become a recognised and respected face in the Adventure Charity Travel industry, his contribution to which was even honoured by her majesty the Queen herself last year at the Royal Celebration of British Adventure, but to all of us in the office, we’re always know him best for his infamous collection of checked shirts, bad taste in music and strange preference teas which are milky beyond belief!