Team building and employee engagement are high priorities for most businesses. But they don't have to be as traditional as you think. Helping others a part of your corporate social responsibility (CSR) commitment also has major benefits to employee engagement. Here's a little story about a recent event we managed for Morrisons. The three peaks challenge is a very well worn charity challenge event where you complete all three of the highest mountains in the UK in under 24hrs. That's Ben Nevis (Scotland), Snowdon (Wales) and Scarfell Pike (England) in case you were wondering. Now I'll admit right now that I'm not a big fan of this challenge. It just seems like an unnecessary amount of charging around which puts untold pressure on the mountains and the infrastructure around them. I also believe that participants miss the incredible natural beauty of their surroundings but that's probably just my inner hippy coming out. Success of the three peaks often comes down to the transport and how much traffic there is making it largely a driving challenge more than anything else.
So when Sue Ryder enquired about running the three peaks as part of their charity partnership with Morrisons we were keen to suggest alternatives. We settled on the Three Peaks Sunrise Series. We would climb all three of the mountains on separate weekends (over a 12 month period) and we would aim to get to the top of each of them at sunrise. This meant getting the timings right and climbing mostly in the dark. Climbing mountains is awesome but doing it when no one else is around and experiencing sunrise is just magical.
At this point I would like to introduce Kevin Essex. Kevin is a butcher in the Milton Keynes Morrisons store and had not really done much outdoor activity until he pitched up in Llanberis on the first of the sunrise events, Mount Snowdon. The event went well and all walkers made it to the top despite some struggling a little physically. When we got down I interviewed Kevin for the official video and I could see then that he had a glint in his eye and the event had sparked something within. We met again in Fort William before the Ben Nevis climb and he seemed like a changed man - kitted out with proper mountaineering gear and eager to get on the mountain despite the awful weather conditions. Fast forward to a couple of weekends ago and we're stood on top of Scarfell Pike and Kevin was telling me about all the times he'd been out to the mountains and how he wants to climb Mount Elbrus in Russia. Brilliant! He also couldn't stop thanking me for introducing him to mountaineering and it was great to see him so energised and stoked for his new found sport. The mountains can do that to anyone I guess so what are you waiting for? #exploremore