The joy on any child’s face when they receive a new bike lights up a room. When the child comes from a disadvantaged background, this joy is priceless.
The experience of building a bike from scratch in a team which is then donated to a child in need is even more powerful.
Recently more than 60 staff from 2degrees, the New Zealand mobile phone company, did just that via a charity team building program called ‘Bikes For Tykes’ delivered by Corporate Challenge Events in Auckland.
In what their staff thought was just a fun team building exercise as part of their annual sales conference at Holiday Inn Auckland, it proved to be something much greater and empowering.
Divided into nine teams, the 2degrees staff worked through a series of team activities to ultimately build nine bikes.
The challenges, designed by Corporate Challenge Events, develop confidence and team skills in participants such as leadership, communication, delegation, planning and time management.
The end result of the challenges… nine brand new bicycles built by 2degrees and donated via Life Education to Stand Children’s Services – a charity that provides specialist home and school social services to children aged 5 to 12.
Not only this, the ‘very excited’ children and their families were present to accept their new bikes!
For many days after the team building activity, the 2degrees staff were talking about the experience and the impact it has had on its company culture.
“It was an honour to be able to participate in a program like this with such a rewarding result,” said Sue Jackson, a retail store manager for 2degrees.
“It’s great to know that we are helping someone or a particular charity, but when you actually see it in person, and see the faces and the gratitude on those faces, that can’t be beaten.
“I think the fact that we were able to be there when the tykes were presented with their bikes, this made all the difference.”
Fellow retail store manager Andrea Petty O’Shea agreed that the power in this team building activity was the corporate social responsibility outcome.
“We like to have a fun team building activity for the team at our annual sales conference but loved this one as it also gave us the opportunity to offer something back to the community.
“I’d say on reflection we achieved three great outcomes - team work, competitiveness and charity.
“We worked really well as a team and our leader was very supportive of our ideas. We got to see in our team of managers who stands out the most in terms of competitiveness. But overall, doing something for someone else was the best part.”
Bikes For Tykes is one of the most popular team building programs that Corporate Challenge Events offers all over New Zealand and Australia, with more than 1,000 bikes donated to charities last year alone.
A huge supporter of Corporate Challenge Events in New Zealand is Life Education Trust Counties Manukau - a charity that brings vitally important health messages to children and youth across New Zealand.
Life Education acts as an intermediary between Corporate Challenge Events and the end beneficiaries.
“Because of our position in the community and the unique relationship we have with schools, we are able to identify schools with high needs children that would benefit from these donations,” said General Manager Michelle Kidd.
“Most of the recipients would simply never ever have a bike if it wasn't for the generous donation.
“I know of schools that have used the bike as a tool for children with low attendance rates to encourage them to attend school more regularly and other schools that have used the bike as a reward for improved behaviour.”
For the 2degrees event, Life Education organised Stand Children’s Services as the beneficiary.
Stand is a charity that strives to transform the lives of children and young people, from schools across Auckland from Warkworth in the north to Port Waikato in the south, who are at significant risk of harm to their wellbeing because of the environment in which they are being raised and their own complex needs.
Education Team Leader Joy Fiebiger said it has been amazing to observe the impact that both the giving and the receiving of bikes has had on the participants, both the adults and the children.
“Companies like Corporate Challenge Events and the businesses that they work with such as 2degrees and Auckland Motorway Alliance have contributed towards 33 of the children’s ability to enjoy life,” said Joy.
“Our children’s little chests puff up with such pride when they realise that the bikes are theirs to keep.”
And the final word goes to 8-year-old bike recipient, Oceania, in a special message for 2degrees.
“My bike is nice and pretty. I really like it and I have fun on it. Sometimes when it is hot, I ride fast and the wind makes me cool. Thank you for my bike - you did a good job on it.”
Corporate Challenge Events is a leader in corporate team building, corporate events planning and corporate training across New Zealand and Australia with offices in Auckland, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and the Gold Coast.