Sopra Steria’s Aerospace, Defence and Security teams raise £16,000 for Walking With The Wounded

by Joanne Johnson - Portfolio Delivery Manager
| minutes read

On Saturday 14 May, 8 teams from our ADS business laced up their walking boots to fundraise for ‘Walking with the Wounded’. The Cumbrian Challenge is Walking with the Wounded’s annual flagship fundraising event for individuals, organisations and companies who want to show their support and experience a memorable team-building weekend. We’re delighted to let you know that our teams not only conquered the Cumbrian Challenge, but they raised an amazing total of £16,000 in the process and even came home with some trophies too.
Hairy Hikers at the last peak

Jo Johnson, Paul Milton, Steve Pickering and Dave Debenham were in the ‘Hairy Hikers’ team and conquered the 32 km “Tougher” route of the Cumbrian Challenge. With a mixture of incentives to get involved in the challenge, from friendly competition with other account members in competing teams to “looking for a challenge”, the group displayed great team spirit throughout the event. So much so that they walked away with the Spirit of Cumbria award, which was true recognition of how the team embodied the spirit of the challenge.

Hairy Hikers team member Jo Johnson, has given us some behind the scenes insight into the weekend:

“Going into the challenge we had a variety of experience, training and reasons for wanting to take part. It was a really tough trek but I think we hadn’t realised how difficult it would be to keep the team together. Motivating a team for over 12 hours encouraging and pushing through when we could see teammates struggling was a real test.

It was hard to find the right pace that would suit everyone and that could be sustained for a prolonged period. Morale had its highs and lows too and had to be lifted frequently the further we progressed (especially on the ups) which became harder the more “last hills” we went up. We had a bit of a buddy system for the hike which worked well and Steve was thankfully slowed down a bit when he picked up a second rucksack from one of our team members to help us push through together.

Each marshal we saw said that the next peak was the last, but I don’t think the trick had the desired effect. After being told that a few times, we quickly became skeptical about anything we heard from marshals!

It was a long, hard day for everyone for different reasons but I’m proud that we made it through it as a team. Depending on who you ask, the highlights of the weekend will probably be a little different; for me it was getting to the top of the final peak as a team, that last climb was really hard. We had to give ourselves time to rest in order for the team to smash that last peak. Keeping morale up when everyone is both physically and mentally tired was quite an effort. For others it was probably getting over the finish line and knowing it was over!

The Hairy Hikers team taught us an invaluable teambuilding lesson: start as a team... finish as a team!

The teams have raised a grand total of £16,000, all of which goes towards supporting vulnerable veterans back into independence through employment. Every £2,000 on average supports another veteran from social isolation back into society.

Our teams are still collecting funds to support this Walking with The Wounded fundraising event. If you would like to donate anything please visit our fundraising page. All donations are greatly appreciated, and any amount can add up to make a big difference to change veterans' lives.

Congratulations to all the teams – you’ve made us proud!

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