On the 5th to the 8th of December this year, four intrepid members of the Workspace team will be venturing off to the Swedish town of Kiruna in the Arctic in support of London-based charity Kids Company. Kiruna lies 150km north of the Arctic Circle. The temperature can drop to minus 30 degrees and, during winter, the town only sees five hours of twilight a day. If that weren’t challenging enough, the Workspace team will be taking part in a biathlon where they’ll be ice-fishing, sledding and competing in a 25km ski race. But this will only happen if each team member raises £1,200 for Kids Company before December.
This is the first in a regular series by Alphie – a stalwart of the accounts department. He’ll be keeping us up to date with the team’s progress: their triumphs, the challenges, some ingenious fund raising stunts and, of course, news of a full body wax.
When I’d first heard about the Arctic Biathlon challenge in Sweden, my warm Mediterranean blood grew chill: there was absolutely no chance I’d survive out there. With this in mind, I declined the invitation. But, somehow, my team persuaded me to go on reserve: if someone pulled out from the team, I’d go for it. It seemed as though my team were keen on me freezing to death whilst wrestling polar bears so, I thought, why disappoint them?
You can guess what happened next. Before I knew it, I was ordering ski gear online. Now, somehow, I absolutely loved the idea of getting myself out there. The challenge seemed unreal and a once in a life-time opportunity. It helped that it was for such a great cause, raising money for the charity Kids Company.
I have never skied before and I’ve never been anywhere near a freezing country, so that in itself is going to be a massive challenge. But once I’m out there, the real challenge will begin: a 25km long Nordic ski and sledging with dogs for 30km. The competition will be against four other teams in five hours of twilight. I’m very competitive, and so is the rest of my team, so this will be a painful but exciting adventure.
During one of our meetings with Kids Company, the leader told us a silly - if terrifying - story. Some genius thought it’d be funny to take a selfie; they took their glove off (bear in mind they had been warned not to) and then had to have the tip of their finger chopped off when they suffered frost bite. I’m sure my team and I will be listening to instructions very carefully.
Our first fundraising drive is a cake bake this Thursday 11th September at Kennington Park. Some lovely people at Workspace head office have volunteered to bake some cakes and some will be selling them. All in all, it will be a joint effort in making some funds and eating some good quality cakes. Come along!
So there you have it, the Arctic awaits so please donate by clicking here. And follow this link if you’d like more information on Kids Company.