How do you power-up your social impact as a business? 

Howdo you power-up your social impact as a business?

Table of contents

What does it take?

Jelly Babies, facial glitter, a banging music playlist (appointed DJ – Little L Zibz), and a lucky cuddly frog named Charlie, are just some of the ingredients that recently helped a team from BAD take steps forward on their social impact – 45,682 steps to be precise. 

Of course, the key ingredient was a team spirit cemented by a collective passion to make a positive difference within the community. A team spirit which drove us to take on The Downslink Challenge whole heartedly.  

Did we train for it? Not really. 

Should we have trained for it? Probably. 

What is the Downslink Challenge?

The YMCA Downslink Challenge is a 17.5 mile walk along the Downslink Pathway, from Horsham to Shoreham-by-Sea (Sussex, UK).  

This fundraiser is in support of the YMCA Downslink Group, a charity on a mission to prevent youth homelessness. 

The money raised helps to fund the great work the charity is doing to transform the lives of vulnerable young people. It supports vital projects and services that give them a second chance at creating a more positive future for themselves. It creates opportunity to pave the pathway to independence for these young people, including those at breaking point and in need of counselling and advice, or those in need of an urgent housing solution to get them to safety and keep them off the streets.  

team downslink walk

Close to our hearts

Our BAD office, and many of our team, are based in the beautiful seaside city of Brighton.  

We love our city, and all the people in it.  

Sadly, Brighton also has one of the highest levels of homelessness in the country, so inevitably this local charity is close to our hearts. As a local business, we didn’t need to think twice about supporting the YMCA Downslink Group and collaborating with them to do what we can to make a positive social impact within our local community. 

We all know, the youth of today are our future, and as a business, we are extremely passionate about creating a world that enables young people to reach their true potential and allows emerging talent to thrive. We believe every young person deserves to be provided with a safe and supportive environment, a place to feel valued, and a platform to be heard. Therefore, we are proud to support the wonderful transformative work of the YMCA Downslink Group as an essential part of our social responsibility. 

Team building

We do love a good team event at BAD, whether it’s a 2-day company festival or a Friday afternoon quiz. We set the tone for the walk from the beginning as we decorated our cheeks with glitter, kicked off with RUN DMC ‘Walk This Way’, and ensured packets of Jelly Babies were within easy reach – and those sunny vibes carried us all the way to the finish line.  

When you walk 17.5 miles, and spend over 6 hours with someone, you’re going to get to know them a little more, it’s inevitable.  Rather questionable games of ‘Would You Rather’, note-worthy money investment tips, exclusive holiday reviews, and shared ideas that could have a place on ‘Dragon’s Den’ were just some of the ‘get to know you’ team highlights. (Let’s not discuss the singing and rapping skills). 

Not only was this event a great opportunity to act on our social responsibility, but it served as an extremely effective team building exercise.  

As the team began to feel the blisters set in with 7 miles still to go, joints feeling achy, and energy levels at their lowest – comradery and team morale was at it’s highest. Teams who may not ordinarily work together in the office, now working together in a different environment, united and motivated by the same end goal. 

Team building activities are always going to be a positive part of a business strategy, but a team building activity that carries with it a sense of social purpose, where teams feel they are making a difference to a wider cause, will turbo boost engagement and motivation levels, as well as your social impact as a business 

The sense of achievement from the team as we crossed the finish line cheering (and singing), and collected our medals, was just fantastic. We’re ready for the next event! 

The whole event was a huge success – our team of 12 contributed to a total of 78 people walking more than 1,000 miles collectively, raising more than £12,000.  

Were the blisters worth it? Absolutely 100%. 

team building picture

Looking forward

The Downslink Challenge was just the beginning of BAD’s collaboration with YMCA Downslink Group.  

We are continuing to grow and develop our connection, as we explore other ways in which BAD can add value to the work that they do – whether it’s upskilling young people or collaborating on their passport to independence digital solutions, we’re very excited to find ways in which we can continue to support such a fantastic cause so close to our hearts. 

If you’d like to know more about the social and community work we do, or to hear more about designing digital experiences to support you team, please get in touch. 

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