IT teams sign up for 2009 3 Peaks challenge

The CARE International 3-Peaks Challenge , in association with Computer Weekly, will see teams of IT professionals...

dThe CARE International 3-Peaks Challenge, in association with Computer Weekly, will see teams of IT professionals taking on Britain's three highest mountains in 24 hours.

It's no easy task, but a large number of teams managed it earlier this year, raising a total of £100,000 for development charity CARE, and many more are looking forward to the challenge in 2009.

CARE International is an aid agency working in 69 countries. It works to tackle the causes of poverty and raises much of its funds through corporate events such as this one. The charity was founded in 1945 to support survivors of the Second World War and has supported victims of poverty ever since.

The IT infrastructure team at the housing and regeneration group Midland Heart is one of the groups taking part in the event next June.

Technical specialist John Hunt said the team was looking for a "good challenge" that everyone could participate in and work towards.

And, he added, one of the reasons the team had chosen this event was to support CARE.

"Before we signed up, we had a look at what they do, and it seemed a very worthwhile, worthy cause.

"Any aid agency is a good cause to support, but at CARE they work to tackle the causes of poverty, not just the consequences. That's similar to what we do in a way, we aim to transform lives through housing support, and it attracted us to the event."

The event involves climbing the UK's three tallest mountains in 24 hours, but John says he thinks the team will be able to manage the challenge.

They have not started training properly yet, but John is still confident the team will complete the task.

"There are a few of us who are keen sportsmen already. But no-one's done a lot of mountain walking before, so it's a different experience for everyone. We are scheduling in some practice walks."

There are two real challenges for anyone taking part in the challenge. Climbing the mountains is tough enough, but teams also need to raise £6,000 to go towards CARE's work.

Last year the event raised £100,000 so anyone taking part makes a real contribution to the charity's work. While £6,000 sounds a lot to raise, each team gets plenty of support from CARE staff in coming up with ingenious ways to raise the money.

John said, "It's a lot, but doing the walk gives you a real incentive to raise the money. And knowing how much you're raising pushes you to train and try to achieve on the day, and make sure you do it well.

"We've come up with a few ideas, and there's a lot of information that CARE provides with sponsorship ideas in it. Someone is also coming in from CARE to run through ideas and give us a plan, so we're not doing it at the last minute."

The whole process gives teams a chance to work towards a goal outside of work, making the event a positive experience for colleagues.

John said part of the attraction of an event like this was a chance for some team building.

"We generally do a bit of social activity outside of work, and a few of us play football. But this involves fundraising and a commitment in terms of training, which is good for team building and getting to know each other."

Enter the 2009 CARE 3 Peaks Challenge - details here >>

3 peaks route

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