Staff Take on Gruelling 24-Hour Challenge for Charity

Charity Challenge 2023
Some of the University of Worcester staff taking part in the Charity Challenge with Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive, Professor David Green (back row, left of banner)

The annual Charity Challenge will see staff pushed to the limit, covering more than 40 miles, and completing activities from zip wires to raft building, over 24 hours between the evening of Friday June 2 into Saturday June 3.

Nine teams of staff, plus one external team, will take on a 25-mile night walk along the Severn Way starting at Bridgnorth and finishing at the University’s Lakeside Campus at Holt, where participants then walk across the lake in darkness. This is followed by a triathlon with a 300m swim, 20km cycle and 5km run, a 5km log run (teams carry a log weighing 60kg plus), a strength and conditioning test with various exercises, a climbing wall and zip wire, and finally a raft building task. Except for the night walk, all events take place at Lakeside Campus and spectators are welcome to attend to cheer the teams on. Events start after the night walk at 5.30am.

Teams are competing to complete the challenge in the shortest time. Teams have been fundraising in a variety of ways, as the more money teams raise helps deduct time from their overall event times. Participants have been training since January and have completed a fitness assessment designed by the University’s Strength and Conditioning staff.

The event will raise funds for the University’s chosen Charity of the Year, Worcester Foodbank. Teams will be supported by more than 25 staff and student volunteers, including those at the University's Lakeside campus.

In previous years, staff have raised thousands of pounds for charity undertaking other gruelling physical activities, including the Three Peaks Challenge and an 85-mile trek along Hadrian's Wall.

Tom Taylor, Assistant Director – Security & Operations – at the University, who previously served 24 years in the army and organises the annual Challenge, said: “The difference with this challenge compared to others is that there is a considerable amount of leg work. The night walk will include a water crossing in the dark, which for many people will be challenging given visibility will be poor. The log run will require lots of teamwork and technique for changing around, so will need good leadership as well as determination and strength from the team. The climbing wall will test those with a fear of heights and as always, given this is a 24-hour challenge, sleep deprivation for half of the team will kick in at some point during the day having done the 25-mile walk overnight.”

To sponsor the University teams, visit the Worcester Foodbank fundraising webpage, which has all the team names and fundraising links, or there is a general Charity Challenge fundraising page.