13 Oct 2018 - Simon Leslie
My heart and feet go out to the Sahara 10
As I write this, my feet have just been pounding through the City That Never Sleeps but this time two years ago I was shoulder to shoulder with my colleagues, walking through the Sahara to raise money for charity. Some 730 days later, 10 more Inkers have set off to Morocco for another attempt at this gruelling challenge and I couldn’t be prouder – or more jealous.
Sure, it took weeks for my feet to recover but the pain from those walking those long, sun-drenched hours is definitely not my lasting memory of the challenge. Thankfully, my mind has chosen to prioritise the memory of how we all fused together as a team to help each other through this demanding physical and mental contest.
Back in 2016, we all knew we’d committed to walk the walk and to talk the talk, but we didn’t realise how deeply these commitments would be challenged. How did we make it through? Deep down we all knew that together we could make a difference to the charity we were fundraising for, and in turn the lives of the people they supported.
The year I walked, we did it for people who could not: The Spinal Cord Injury Centre. Last year it was for SOS Children’s Villages and in 2018 our brave colleagues are raising much needed money for Big Change (@bigchange), a charity that’s committed to “help young people thrive in life, not just exams”. What could be more important than that?
At Ink we take our giving back seriously. I decided many years ago that we would always promote a culture among all of our colleagues that would support our communities, and society. Ever since, some 300+ colleagues around the world have joined in with fruitful and rewarding endeavours, from baking cakes to sponsoring marathons and, most recently, chipping money in for two of our London sales team to knock seven bells out of contestants in a (well regulated, monitored and organised) white-collar charity boxing match.
This weekend my heart and feet go out to the Sahara 10. They will share their pains, pleasures and the wonderful euphoria that this experience will bring them. But overall, I really hope that they are reassured by the fact that, not only have they gone on their own personal journey, they know their positive steps will help others take their first.
For more information on the charity we are suppoting this year, Big Change, and to give to this cause, visit our Saharan Challenge fundraising page.