Let's take a break from client work for a minute and talk to you about Elympics, our annual challenge devised to not only make us the healthiest digital agency in town but to also raise lots of lovely moolah for four fantastic Leeds charities.
How does it work?
By harnessing the awesome power of data we've essentially monetised exercise, for charity. Different activities are worth different amounts depending on how much you suffer and the current rates are...
To ensure there's no cheating, all activities must be tracked using Strava and then we grab all that juicy data and generate our monthly Elympics leaderboard. We also do random drugs tests once a month to ensure fair play. Ok, we made that bit up but at least you're still reading.
Who we're supporting
CATCH is registered charity made up of passionate volunteers who want to make a positive difference. They run a multifunctional community centre called ‘ARK’ based in Harehills, Leeds and provide a range of activities for children and young people from all backgrounds. CATCH also provide volunteering opportunities for people of all ages allowing them to gain skills and qualifications. Check out their Facebook and Twitter.
Lineham Farm is a charity that gives disadvantaged, disabled and local school children a break in the glorious Leeds countryside.
You name it, Lineham offer it! From their high-ropes course and night walks, to orienteering and mini beast discovery, mountain biking and heart start – Lineham’s very own first aid course. Regardless of how they choose to spend their days, you can rest assured that all children leave the farm thoroughly content, happy and maybe just a little tired!
Since launching in 1990, Open country has developed into a small charity with huge aims! On an average week they run up to eleven countryside activities for people with disabilities, as well as keeping on top of the small mountain of admin work associated with all that they do. Over the years they’ve been recognised by many awards including the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2006 and the Duke Of York’s Community Initiative in 2008 and again in 2014.
Toast Love Coffee
ToastLoveCoffee is a community café in Harehills, Leeds; creating a space where boundaries between different communities will disappear over good coffee, good food and good conversations.
All the food is intercepted; it was destined for the bins but is perfectly edible and delicious so served up in the cafe or on the shelves for people to take away. It is all on a pay as you feel basis. People give with time, money, or skills.
The Abbey Dash
We run the dash ever year for Elympics. 2016 saw our best ever turnout with 16 Engage-ees stepping up to the start line and collectively raising £79.36 for our charities.
Elympics year one
In the first 12 months of Elympics we logged over 17,880 miles of exercise - that's more than twice round the world!
All that sweat didn't go to waste though as we managed to raise £7,130 for our charities.
Getting our hands dirty
Sometimes we take a break from exercising and support our charities on the ground. In this photo we're planting trees for the team at Open Country which will eventually form part of a new green space in Otley.
Did someone say free holiday?
To keep the everyone engaged (groan!) we also award one lucky Elympian an extra days holiday each month. To be in with a chance of winning you need to raise over £30 (equivalent to cycling 150 miles) which guarantees your entry into the random ballot.
CATCH is a volunteer led small charity based in the heart of Harehills. The funds raised through Elympics have had a direct positive impact on the young people and wider community we support. Running a community building can be tough with all the running costs and bills. Elympics has allowed us to focus on the delivery of our much needed services without the increased pressures of having to fundraise or find funding to run our building. The more we can have the building open; the more we can do to support the community and young people.
Thank you to the amazing team at Engage for supporting us.
Ash Razzaq MBE