Taking it the extra mile in support
Pumping up interest in their cause, volunteers man the WaterAid booth at the 2013 London J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Battersea Park.
of London beneficiary, WaterAid
LONDON, July 23, 2013 — The two-night J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Battersea Park was another success in 2013, attracting 26,675 entrants from 539 companies on July 10 and 11.
The celebration of healthy competition and camaraderie also provided a powerful, long-term benefit for WaterAid, the event’s not-for-profit partner.
J.P. Morgan, owner and operator of the Corporate Challenge, encouraged its U.K. employees to help the WaterAid cause.
The firm’s second annual Fitness Challenge, known as Destination Water, challenged employees to travel as far as possible over a month in order to raise money for WaterAid. The event, part of J.P. Morgan’s GeneroCITY for WaterAid campaign, was held in conjunction with Nuffield Health, the firm’s onsite fitness provider.
First set up as a response to the United Nations’ International Drinking Water & Sanitation decade in 1981, WaterAid works in 27 countries worldwide, and transforms millions of lives every year with clean water, safe toilets and hygiene education, and works with local partners to help communities in need.
WaterAid volunteers cheer participants.
As part of J.P. Morgan’s activities, more than 130 employees took on the Destination Water challenge, travelling over 6,500 miles while raising money for WaterAid. The charity has been J.P. Morgan’s fundraising partner in the U.K. for two years.
“The goal of the Destination Water initiative was for employees to cover enough distance to collectively travel over 6,000 miles — the equivalent distance from London to Dhaka, Bangladesh,” said Carol Lake, J.P. Morgan EMEA head of Philanthropy. “All proceeds will go toward WaterAid’s vital work across some of the world’s poorest countries.”
Joanne Gain in the Bournemouth Global Management group said that she “could not imagine life without safe, clean water, but for approximately one in 10 of the world's population, it's a daily reality.
“Being part of the Destination Water campaign gave me the chance to help out, and I was amazed by the generosity of my sponsors,” Gain said.
The two-night Corporate Challenge provided a highly-visible platform to spread news of the good work of WaterAid.
John Gibbons, TS EMEA regional executive, said that the best part of running in the Corporate Challenge was knowing it was to support WaterAid. “To think that the 5.6 km is a shorter distance than some people walk daily for water is incredible," said Gibbons. "It's truly inspiring to see so many people participate, and it was a great way to spend time with clients, colleagues and friends."
Nigel Hitching of the Global Finance Technology group in London added that the Corporate Challenge was a great opportunity to partner with WaterAid, and the organization’s in-person team gave him insight into how the firm’s efforts and donations are making a difference in people’s lives.
The average distance that women in Africa and Asia travel to collect clean water is six kilometers, which is slightly further than the 5.6 kilometer distance of the Corporate Challenge. As a result of J.P. Morgan’s support, WaterAid will help provide access to safe water and improved sanitation closer to home for many people.
Lake noted that the support “is a gift that goes beyond just providing clean water — it means women spend less time walking to collect water, giving them the opportunity to support their family financially. It will also help reduce the number of people suffering from water-related diseases across Africa and Asia, many of whom are children.”
Marcus Missen, director of Fundraising and Communications for Water Aid, called the support from J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge participants “phenomenal.”
“Together, we truly are making a difference,” he said.