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The Great Big IG Walkabout

Date: 24 November 2021

SCFT’s Information Governance (IG) team have just completed a virtual trek from Brighton to Sydney, Australia in aid of Sussex Community NHS Charity – the Trust’s official charity – and Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice, in Arundel. They have raised a staggering £1,800, and the donations are still coming in. 

One of the team’s members, Hayleigh Gorringe, has written this blog about their incredible adventure. 

On 8 November 2021, SCFT’s Information Governance team completed their most outrageous challenge to-date.

After just over 11 months they arrived - *virtually* - in Sydney, Australia having collectively walked, run, swum, cycled, paddle-boarded and walked on the spot to total over 10,500 miles.

The IG team like to complete at least one challenge / charity fundraiser a year.

Previous challenges have included raffling, charity swear jars, organising Christmas jumper days, cake sales, and walking from Brighton to Land’s End.

This year’s challenge was thought up by Laura Watson as a member of the team had their trip to Australia, to visit their daughter, cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The challenge itself was to see if the six members of IG (Lindsay, Adam, Kay, Nic, Laura, and Hayleigh) could cover the 10.599.06 miles from Brighton, UK to Sydney, Australia before December 31, 2021.

Although it seemed a daunting task, the IG team decided to give it their best shot!

Their journey began on a chilly Brighton morning on 4 January 2021. With their tummies still full, and the tastes of Christmas still fresh on their minds, they put on their walking boots and running shoes and started travelling towards Australia.

The journey was, at times, incredibly challenging. Working in office-based roles and having to sit down for roughly eight hours of the day made it very hard for the team to keep up with the required 10,000 steps per day.

COVID-19 restrictions added to this because face-to-face meetings were cancelled and held on Microsoft Teams instead.

With often back-to-back virtual meetings, they initially found it very difficult to complete the necessary daily steps within the working week.

However, the knowledge that they were raising money for two brilliant charities - Sussex Community NHS Charity and Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice - spurred them on and helped them find creative ways to get their steps in.

By parking further away from the office, walking on the spot, going for lunchtime walks, taking part in gym classes, and exercising after work, they found a way to rack up the miles.

The challenge, though hard, brought the team even closer together. There was fierce competition between members to complete the highest number of miles per week, and they worked together to help each other overcome additional challenges, such as COVID restrictions, illnesses, injuries, working from home, and home-schooling.

An incredible 87 miles were clocked up one week by Nic Brown, who led the way throughout the year.

When a team member dislocated his knee, his miles were picked up by other members to ensure we stayed on track.

Eight injuries, ten watch straps, six new shoes, and countless blisters later the team arrived in Sydney!

It has been an incredible team-building exercise and we are all ecstatic and very proud to say we have completed the challenge one month early.

So far, the team have raised – including gift aid - a fantastic £1,800 for Sussex Community NHS Charity and Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice.

If you would like to donate or read more about the IG team’s challenge and the charities they are raising money for, please visit their Virgin Giving Page: Virgin Money Giving | SCFT's Information Governance Team.

Please note that unfortunately the Virgin Money pages will close on Tuesday 30 November 2021.

You can also watch the short video below about the IG team’s trek: