News

Covid-19 : Keeping you Safe on your Challenge

July 7, 2020
Charity Challenge Keeping you safe

Last updated: 10th Sept 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.

We are booking single, private room for all participants unless it is clearly indicated on your booking form that you are part of the same household (ie: both of you registered as living at the same physical address). Twin/double rooms have been booked for those people travelling as one household. For more information regarding the governments guidelines to accommodation suppliers please click here. 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.

From Monday 14 September we will be following the rule of 6 – one leader will be grouped with a maximum number of five participants. 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 registration and the start of the challenge and enable social distancing more easily.

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

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.