This summer there are several high-profile charity events lined up for the IT community, ranging from a grand ball to hiking up Britain's highest mountains.
With growing numbers of IT professionals wanting to help their local communities or the under-privileged, such activities provide a fun but effective means of doing so. Many events have connections with the City livery company for IT, the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists, which acts as a hub for IT-related charitable activities.
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Great London Walk
26 June, City of London
The family-oriented Great London Charity Walk, which takes place on Sunday 26 June, takes participants to parts of London not usually open to the public. In its eighth year, the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists event hopes to double the sum raised for charity from last year's £19,000 to £40,000.
Three walks of varying lengths around the nooks and crannies of the City of London start and end in the grounds of the Honourable Artillery Company. There is all-day entertainment for adults and children, including clowns, a balloon race, a bouncy castle, beat the goalie, Morris men, a brass band, a coconut shy and cream teas.
The walk costs £4 per adult if you register in advance and each walker is asked to try to raise £50 sponsorship.
The money will go towards an IT suite for Barnados to help disadvantaged 14-16 year olds train for vocational qualifications.
Intellect ICT Charity Ball
This year's Intellect ICT Industry Charity Ball, supported by Computer Weekly and the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists, will have the theme "A Night at the Movies". The event aims to raise more than £50,000 for seriously and terminally ill children through the Starlight Children's Foundation.
Last year's ball, themed "A Night on the Orient Express", raised just over £40,000. This was boosted to £50,000 with a donation from the Worshipful Company of Information Tech-nologists' charitable trust. The money is being used to improve the understanding and treatment of autism through advanced mobile data collection and analysis.
Last year's ball was a finalist in the "Best Party Event of the Year" category at the Corporate Events Association 2004 Awards.
Tables for year's charity ball, to be held on London's South Bank, cost £1,950 for 10 places. For more information contact Tina Compton at Intellect.
Vanco Three Peaks Challenge
You don't have to be super fit for the Vanco Three Peaks Challenge, but it helps. This annual team-based sponsored charity event for IT professionals, which involves climbing to the top of the highest peaks in England, Wales and Scotland within 24 hours, is gruelling but immensely satisfying.
The Vanco Challenge requires each team to raise at least £5,000 in sponsorship which goes towards the work of charity Care International.
Sponsorship is well deserved as climbing Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon in a day is no mean achievement. Participants, which in the past have included IT staff from Barclays, Debenhams, HSBC, Exxon Mobil, HBOS, Capgemini, Linklaters, Hogg Robinson, Interflora and Computer Weekly's own IT department at Reed Business Information, have found the occasion a useful team-building activity.
The Byte Night charity sleep-out will take place on a Friday night in September to raise funds for children's charity NCH. The great and the good of the IT industry will spend a night sleeping rough in London in an attempt to raise £200,000 to help NCH's work.