Steven Mugglestone

The more I learn, the less I know

Why Rainbows & The Three Peaks Challenge?

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Our approach to our clients and our business is to always ask, Tell Us Your Story, but on this occasion and for charitable purposes, we are telling you ours.

Coming up with the idea of supporting a charity and “doing something” seemed to be such a logical thing to do.  As accountants and business advisers, we like reasons and checklists and this seems to tick a number of boxes:

·         It brings everyone together, with the aim of everyone up and everyone down the mountains

·         It gives a focus of organisation for our team and stops me taking control of things

·         It gives an opportunity to do something with a client, Woods Coaches

·         It raises money for such an incredible charity cause

·         It makes you realise that Rainbows should not need to be a charity, but really needs  financial support

·         It does give us positive PR

·         It stops us sitting around too much and helps our fitness

Given that we wanted to do something physical, The Three Peaks Challenge, seemed the obvious choice.  Yes, we know that it is not Everest, but for a bunch of largely unfit office workers, the highest peaks in England, Wales and Scotland, covering 25 miles of walking in under a day and a half (we are doing it backwards Snowdon and Scafell on Saturday and Ben Nevis on Sunday morning) seemed to be enough of a challenge to hurt.  So, we are nearly there and what have we learnt:

Bringing people together

I have not been involved in all of the training walks, as I have family as well and started to drag them out walking, but I joined a group for the 15 mile Leicester City walk for Rainbows in May.  Others in the firm, however, have walked various hills in Leicestershire and Edale, as well as completing the Yorkshire Three Peaks in August.  Everyone recognises that sharing the stories of each-others blisters and bruises does a great deal to bring everyone together.  We have tracked our trials and tribulation on our charity blog site, mgchaylescharity Spending hours alone walking through hillsides and fields also ensures that you find out far more about your colleagues than days in the offices.

On a personal front, my seventeen your old son is joining us to tackle the challenge and I have been out training with him on a regular basis, both in a gym and throughout the countryside.  This has allowed us to spend more time alone to discuss a whole variety of matters and issues.  Perhaps without this focus on the three peaks, we would not have done this, because of work and college, so personally for me; this has been a great time.

Mental and physical challenge

Some say that you should do something that scares you on a regular basis, to keep you alive.  I think that this challenge is similar, but combines both a physical and mental test.  It is on a bucket list, so it is a great thing to do.  We have all said that we are doing it and all trying to get fit in relevant training, but when it comes to it, come what may it will be a mental test to finish.  We have all been tackling boot and shoe issues, with blisters and bruises as we break-in either new boots or problems with our old boots that stopped us walking before.  For me, a new pair of boots were required, when I tried to replace the laces on my old boots and through rust and mud, they proved impossible to re-lace.  Walking 15 miles in brand new boots in May, was not, however, the cleverest thing that I have ever done and the cuts, bruises and blisters did take a couple of weeks to heal fully.  When it comes to it, though, it is will power and determination that will ensure that we complete the challenge, even if our feet and ankles are covered in plasters.

For me, as well, a knee operation will mean that I will have my knee strapped up, but with a walking stick this is not going to stop me.  I would hope that an air ambulance is not required as that would be embarrassing.

The key driver, however, is not just the challenge for us, but also that we are doing it for such a great organisation and cause in Rainbows.  Some of the firm have visited the hospice and met their team, people with a fantastic positive attitude, which shines through.  So, given that, how can we fail?

A focus for my colleagues

It was easy to come up with the idea and the charity and apart from the training and walk itself, I have not been required to do a great deal more, as my colleagues have taken up the organisation and planning of the task.  You cannot see a better way to improve organisation and management than this really.  All planned, with itineries and equipment lists and timings and briefings, drivers and minibus transfers all sorted and agreed with Woods Coaches.  Nothing less expected from trained and qualified accountants and business advisers.

The selfish gene

Yes, we get PR out of what we are doing.  We do not see this as selfish really.  It is positive PR, for us, for all of the team, for Rainbows, our adopted charity.  For those that may find this tasteless, and actually we do not see many, we are still doing something positive.  Rainbows are a positive bunch of people and they really want other involved to publicise what they do with them as it is great PR for them as well.  They need to keep in the public eye, as they need to continually to raise money to keep operating and doing such a great job.  They do not get anywhere near enough government support to operate and they rely on continuous fund raising.

If all of this is selfish, I certainly have a clear conscience.

Please help us support Rainbows

The final countdown begins as we tackle the three peaks on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd of September.  Through other events and initiatives throughout the year, we are well on course to raising £10,000 for Rainbows and we want to make sure that we do that.

If you would like to help, you can make a donation through our Just Giving site at http://www.justgiving.com/company/mgchayles and as a final word from accountants, we would like to say that it is tax deductible, so ever more of a reason to make a donation, oh and time to consider what we should do next.

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Written by Steven Mugglestone

September 9, 2013 at 8:34 am

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