Blog. CH&CO Go the distance in aid of HA.

May 7, 2024 | Author: Giuliana Vittiglio

Our virtual #SummerChallenge kicks off in four weeks, on Friday 7th June, and we couldn't be more excited. Sponsored by CH&CO, long-term supporters and advocates of our work, the challenge will see us collectively travel 40,000 miles and raise as much money as possible for our industry colleagues in crisis.

We recently caught up with HA Ambassador Matt Symonds, Managing Director, Gather & Gather, to find out a little more about why they continue to support this popular annual fundraiser:

What has motivated CH&CO to sponsor the Summer Challenge every year since 2021?

At CH&CO, we are huge supporters of Hospitality Action, and we value the incredible support the charity gives our industry. We’re always looking for opportunities to raise awareness of Hospitality Action and its great work and, of course, raise as much money as we can to help them help others. What we particularly love about the Summer Challenge is that it’s designed to get teams together and we’ve had some great fun over the past few years in doing so. It’s also a fantastic inclusive event that could also get creativity flowing. It doesn’t matter how you cover the miles – from walking, running, cycling, wheeling or swimming – just as long as you do so!

How does sponsoring the Summer Challenge align with CH&CO’s values and goals?

We have strong values and targets around ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance), and continually increasing our social value is key to this. Doing the right thing by our people and the communities we work in is very important to us and initiatives such as the Summer Challenge are a great example of how we can help make a difference. These team activities are also beneficial to the wellbeing of our people, creating positive physical and social interactions.

Our values are inclusive, inquisitive and uplifting and this challenge certainly embodies all of these. Inclusive in the way it empowers people of all abilities to take part, uplifting as teams are sure to have lots of fun as they do something positive for others and themselves, and inquisitive in that we’re curious to see how creative teams get in covering their miles!

Are there any memorable moments from participating in previous years?

I would say the impact the challenge can have on individual participants stands out to me. We have had a few people take part who wouldn’t consider themselves natural sports people. They’ve seized the challenge as an opportunity to start themselves on a healthier lifestyle, with the knowledge they’re supporting a fantastic charity a great motivation to succeed. We have a chat group for everyone taking part, which is truly inspiring. Everyone is hugely encouraging of one another and with the support of the rest of the group, those new to such challenges have found it much easier to make small changes to benefit their own wellbeing. To see their personal development and the camaraderie within the team is amazing.

Are there any unique or innovative ways CH&CO is supporting participants and promoting the Summer Challenge this year?

This year we want to make our team as inclusive as possible and our goal is to get as many people as we can from across the business to take part.  To do this, we need to remove any misconceptions that you need to be an experienced athlete to do it! This challenge is for everyone, and we don’t want anyone to be put off being part of the team by thinking that they have to do 100 miles or more. We’re therefore setting low milage goals so there are no barriers to participation. With more than 10,000 employees, even if everyone does just a couple of miles each, we will generate a huge contribution to our overall total. Now that’s teamwork!

Many thanks Matt and everyone at CH&CO for your unwavering support. Simply put, we wouldn't be able to help so many if it wasn't for you. 

If you and your colleagues would like to take part in our Summer Challenge this year, you can register your team here. #wevegotou