On Friday 29th April, 100 teams set out from Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire on the Twin Town Challenge (TTC) to Le Touquet, a seaside town in Northern France. Among the teams, each of them driving an ‘old banger’ specially purchased for the event, was a team representing Courtiers. The Three Lions on the Road Team was led by CEO Jamie Shepperd, with team members donning special Lion costumes. That wasn’t the only Courtiers presence though…there was also the major sponsorship of the volunteers.
The aim of the four-day event in which teams undertook a series of challenges en route was to raise funds for SpecialEffect. The Charlbury-based charity helps physically disabled people to play video games and interact with the wider world through innovative technology.
Running an event that lasts four days and involves transporting, feeding, accommodating and generally supporting hundreds of participants and their vehicles as they travel through two countries and cross the Channel, means the TCC incurs significant costs. Which is why Courtiers’ sponsorship of the volunteers was so important in helping the TTC to raise as much money as possible for SpecialEffect.
Leo Hallam, Head of Brand & Communication at Courtiers and one of the 60 or so volunteers, said that during the Bank Holiday weekend his duties included registering teams, marshalling, helping in various ways during evening events and promoting sales of wrist bands and bingo cards, with all proceeds going to the charity.
Helping to cover costs such as kit, mechanics, the media bus, the ‘Bus of Shame’ for those teams whose vehicles didn’t make it, hiring venues, and generally ensuring that everyone got to Le Touquet and back safely, means that 100% of the approximately £400k raised during the four days can be donated to SpecialEffect. Courtiers’ sponsorship also paid for the two Volunteers Briefing evenings, while the sale of two of the Three Lions’ costumes at the end of the event brought in another £380.
Speaking of his experience as a TTC Volunteer and as sponsorship representative, Leo said; “Courtiers chose to support the Twin Town Volunteers because the volunteers are there all the way. They work hard so others can enjoy life, in this case a unique four-day experience, without having to worry about the technicalities in the background. I felt this aligned with Courtiers’ overall purpose in helping clients maximise their wealth through their unique journeys in life.
“I was keen to see exactly what is was that Courtiers was sponsoring. But when I asked to be a volunteer, little did I consider what that might entail, i.e. a lot of work. Long days, late nights and early starts but they didn’t matter – the whole four days were amazing and full of energy.
“The atmosphere I witnessed was uplifting all the way because those volunteers, all brilliant, supportive people…some of whom were seasoned and others new, simply muscled in to do a good job for the participants and for each other. A highly memorable experience from start to finish.”
Sponsoring the TTC volunteers is not the only way that Courtiers makes a valuable contribution to the community. Rams Rugby Club, Witney RFC and Kidlington Youth Football Club are all local community-based organisations that Courtiers supports financially. Courtiers’ sponsorship of horse racing also benefits those around the country, whose livelihoods depend on the sport.
Courtiers employees also play their part, by organising events and raising funds for the company’s chosen charity throughout each year, with the current chosen charity being The Pituitary Foundation.