Doing our bit for Charity

17th January 2018

In case you missed it, last month we decided to do our bit for charity and the results were hilarious.

It’s not every day that you get approached by an organisation who ask you if you want to eat some insects to raise money for charity! This was exactly what the team at OPERA Global Youth Foundation asked us at Walker Smith. As part of the Big Give Week, OPERA were looking for organisations from the world of recruitment to take part in a series of challenges; the bush tucker trials, chilli eating challenges and extreme physical tests were just some of their starter suggestions!

We will be the first to admit that there are not many among us willing to risk our delicate stomachs by eating inhumanely hot chillies or deep fried insects! So those options were immediately off the table;  a bake sale seemed too easy, so an extreme physical challenge was the only way to go!

After much debate about what the challenge could be, various health and safety consultations and scrutinising of our accidental insurance cover (!) the challenge was decided.

A sponsored piggy back stair climb up the 15 flights of stairs at our King Street offices!

So who would be the doing the carrying and who would be the one being carried?!

Michael Lee, Corporate Development Director, part-time strong man, dedicated footballer stepped up to the plate and agreed to do the carrying. Jordan Lee, Account manager and brother of Mike agreed to be carried.

The date was set for December 1st, mini stair climb training sessions were going well and the Lee brothers were set to complete the challenge in record time.

Unfortunately the gods were not on our side and “keen footballer” Mike picked up a debilitating back injury when getting out of the bath post football match! You couldn’t write it!

The race was on to find a replacement with less than 3 days to go until the big event. A plethora of ancient injuries were put forward by the Walker Smith team as “valid excuses” as to why they couldn’t take Mike’s place. Finally after a bit of cajoling, Associate Director, Tom Buckley agreed to take the baton with just two days to go.

two colleagues dressed as santa and an elf

For additional comedy value and to encourage people to dig deep Tom and Jordan had agreed to be clad in festive outfits whilst completing the challenge; I’m sure you’ll agree Santa and his elf looked like they had stepped straight out of the north pole.

The big day came and the Walker Smith team lined the stairs to cheer them on. Tom powered up the stairs with Jordan on his back in just over 90seconds! If you want to watch the legendary stair climb the link is available here

What it’s all about

All of this was of course in aid of raising money for Opera, the amazing charity creating something special within the recruitment industry. They have set out to tackle the difficult issue of youth unemployment, using the skillsets and networks of the recruitment industry to raise money and awareness.

Every £500 raised for Opera supports at least one young person getting into work. There are so many unseen barriers for young people to get that first step on the ladder and Opera are bridging the gap.

They provide practical and financial support to young people aged 16-24  to help them find, gain and stay in work. Their support might be something as simple as providing a suit to wear to an interview right through to coaching and mentoring.

Over £50,000 was raised in one week alone from the generous networks of just a handful of businesses. We are excited to see what Opera does in 2018 and wish them luck.