Throughout the year, Saga staff indulge in a range of activities to help raise funds for the Saga Charitable Trust – whose aim is to benefit communities in some of the developing countries that host Saga holidaymakers. The Trust supports a variety of projects in over 15 countries throughout Africa, Asia and South America.
Every September, however, the fun and frolics take on a life of their own in the form of a two week fund raising extravaganza. The challenge this year was to raise £50,000 in just 14 days! In 2010 staff raised over £15,000, so with the 2011 target set at three times that figure, the challenge was well and truly on!
“I think it is fair to say our people pulled together in spectacular style” said Paul Green, Head of Communications at Saga “The 3,500 staff in Kent as well as our colleagues throughout the UK and aboard our cruise ships have every right to be proud as they have managed to raise a phenomenal £82,000. In addition, Saga also donated £50,000 which raised the total to a staggering £132,561…and the money is still rolling in!
“The activities were many and varied – limited only by the individuals imagination and our
appeals for decency! - From throwing wet sponges at directors, guessing the weight of the IT management team through to challenges of the more athletic kind such as the gruelling Three Peaks Challenge, Dragon boat racing at Bewl Water and the Folkestone half marathon.
“Edible challenges included the Great Saga 'bake-off' where staff made cakes to be judged by local celebrity chef, Mark Sargeant from new Folkestone Harbour restaurant, Rocksalt. Mark awarded the winner’s spot to a delectable Carrot Cake baked by Kirsty Paine, who received a signed copy of his book and a meal for two at Rocksalt.”
An amazing time was had by all, but the undisputed winners really are the recipients of the support provided by the Saga Charitable Trust. All projects are located near to where Saga operates holidays which means the trust is not only able to identify and target local needs, but also ensure funds are used effectively and with complete transparency.
But the fundraising antics don’t end there and our fundraising team have already moved onto their next challenge are planning two events prior to Christmas that are open to the public with a Fashion Show on 14th November from 7pm and a Christmas Fayre on 1st December from 5-7pm both at the Saga Pavilion. For more information please call 0800 0966 7700.'
For more information about the work of the Saga Charitable Trust and to see the difference that these funds will make visit: http://www.saga.co.uk/saga-charitable-trust
For further information or images of the fund raising activities or the projects that benefit from the Saga Charitable Trust funds, please contact the Saga Press Office on 01303 771529.
Details of some of the activities that helped contribute to this resounding success:
The Saga 3 Peaks Challenge - 11 Saga staff set of at 6am on 16th September to take on Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Mount Snowdon in less that 24hours! The team made it home safe and sound and raised in excess of £4,000.
Two Saga Teams - The Saga Silver Surfers and Flappy Paddles – took to the water on 17th/18th September to participate in the annual Dragon Boat Festival at Bewl Water. Each team raised £2,000 each for the Saga Charitable Trust.
Some examples of the projects supported by the Saga Charitable Trust include:
In Mombasa the trust is working with the Haller Foundation to help poor rural communities become self-sufficient through sustainable farming methods. The first phase of funding built a rain fed dam for the remote Mitedi community that has been plagued by drought. This will extend their growing cycle by around nine months as well as provide access to water and help break the cycle of poverty.
The trust also works with schools in Cambodia, Kenya, Nepal, South Africa, Sri Lanka and St Lucia to help improve facilities as well as the quality of education.
46 Saga employees took part in the Folkestone Half Marathon on Sunday 25th September and raised over £8,500. Our fastest man home was Charles Lancefield whose time was 1.45.10 and the fastest lady runner was Claire Jones whose time was 1.53.04.