the business community
partnership for Reading

Team Challenges

Your time can really make a difference.

At Connect Reading, our ambition is to help form long lasting relationships between local businesses and the community. Our team challenges provide the opportunity for you and your teams to have a half day or full day out of the office, getting stuck in to a range of hands on activities for the benefit of the surrounding area.

We have a wide network of local charities and organisations that need your help, and we know where aid is needed most in our local area. Whether its building a fence, painting a house or clearing a garden, your donation of time and resources can be priceless to the charities that really need them, as well as impactful for your teams and their development.

Team challenges can help your team with:

  • Team bonding and morale boosting
  • Improving people skills
  • Building self-confidence
  • Learning new skills
  • Gaining a sense of achievement

As a member of our charity, you are entitled to take advantage of our Team Challenge service. We provide team challenges specifically tailored for your organisation, and the needs of your team members. The best result is from a day when teams are really engaged, so we work with you to find options that will build on your employees' passion and get the most of out of them.

  • If you become a member, Team Challenges are included in your member benefits (number of Team Challenges is dependant on level of membership).
  • If you are interested in a Team Challenge and are not a member, please do contact us to discuss what we can do for you.

Some examples of Team challenges undertaken by some of our members are below.

Examples of Team Challenges:

1) “KYOCERA and Active FM – donating everything EVEN the kitchen sink!”

Technology manufacturing giant KYOCERA did not compromise on their sustainability values in a recent office move.

With a complete overhaul of their new office in process, the company found a throng of redundant furniture in need of a caring home away from the landfill. Enter Connect Reading and their network of local organisations. Armed with sticky labels and a room full of furniture, six Connect Reading charity members were given the opportunity to lay claim to any items that would be beneficial to their organisation. Desks, tables and chairs among much more found residency in their new charity homes but the giving did not stop there. After a quick word with the landlord, KYOCERA defied the age old idiom by donating everything INCLUDING the kitchen sink which alongside the rest of the kitchen went to local charity Home-start Reading!  

The Connect Reading synergy continued further.  Having spoken to the involved charities, KYOCERA realised that the transport of furniture can prove costly for their organisations and so looked inside the Connect Reading family to find office relocation specialists Active FM to help.

Active FM agreed with KYOCERA that they would transport the furniture to the charity locations free of charge fitting it around their busy schedule. This meant that six local charities were gifted with a huge donation of furniture and services totalling around £20,000! This made a huge difference to the recipient organisations and their clients.

Of the donation, KYOCERA said: “It would have been impossible to do without another Connect Reading member. Active FM shared our values about wanting to help and is also a member of Connect Reading. A lot of the items would have been impossible for charities to transport on their own. I think that it was really good that two Connect Reading members could work together to make it happen.”  

Active FM said of the event: “I do not know if we would have worked with KYOCERA had we not been Connect Reading members. I think what we did is great. We all rush around, doing stuff for work and trying to make a profit, and keep the business running, but it is nice that there are things that we do which make it worthwhile in other ways.”

2) Santander 

Connect Reading member Santander participated in a hands-on team challenge for Reading based charity, Food4Families.

The challenge saw a number of the bank's employees become "at one with nature" as they assisted in the reformation of a once unused wasteland. By clearing overgrown shrubbery, creating storage bays for woodchip and painting the garden fences and the shed the team helped transform the space at Southcote Growalot. The team's efforts exceeded the challenge however.

fter donating £250's to the charity and enquiring with Connect Reading, Santander's relationship manager Simon Rowland made a special effort to secure further necessary garden equipment for Food4Families. He fitted hiring a van, driving around Berkshire, collecting equipment and and delivering it to the site around a day of meetings and in a suit! 

Of the day, Simon said: "We wanted to do a project that we knew would make a difference, that I knew we were going to have to work as a team and sweat a little. The feedback has been great and the moral and team spirit you could see on the day was superb. Holly [Baker] was great all the way liaising between us and the project volunteers and also in organising the photo opportunity and press release afterwards. It ran completely smoothly from start to finish, so we are looking forward to doing the next one!"

3) Hilton

Connect Reading offers a variety of Team Challenge opportunities such as gardening projects and redecoration mornings, however, the Hilton Hotel Reading embarked on a different style of challenge with their assistance at Amersham Road over 50’s Club. Having been provided with a shortlist of potential Team Challenge charities, Hilton Hotel decided upon Amersham Road as a rewarding experience for their employees.

Amersham Road over 50’s Club provides a caring and compassionate environment for local older people who struggle with or are facing isolation in the community. The Hilton employees attended a club meeting and engaged in fun and social activities with the regular attendees. As well as a cup of tea and a chat, the volunteers played games and helped run the bingo session which they provided special prizes for such as a meal at the Hilton with a taxi either way. On top of this help, the Hilton Hotel kitchen also donated an industrial size fish pie which raised a few chuckles as it was too large for the club’s oven!

Jessica Woodall, Hilton’s Human Resource Manager said: "we really see Connect Reading as a great way to interact with the community. It gives us a middle man to know exactly what we can do locally to help. The team challenge was really nice because Holly gave us a choice of two and I thought let's do something different. Normally Hilton's community objectives are for the youth, so it was really nice to engage with a different group. The team challenge was a very rewarding and satisfying for all those involved."

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