Category Archives: Charity News

Go Ape’s 30 chosen charities

chairty bake sale aberfoyle

From small non-profits to worldwide organisations, charities play an important part in every community. They rely on donations from people like us to help change lives for the better, whatever that may entail.

Now, we don’t want to sound like we’re preaching here, but we strongly believe that everyone should do their bit for charity. Even a small gesture or donation could go on to have a huge impact on someone’s life.

From day dot, we have worked alongside some fantastic charities and we’re immensely proud of being able to give something back. This is not something we do to look impressive or win you over – we do it simply because we care and think it’s the right thing to do.

Doing our bit for the community

Last year was one of our strongest years to date in terms of money raised. We donated more than £103k in cash and gift vouchers to charities, also delivering a cheque for £58,472 to our chosen charity, the Outward Bound Trust, which uses the great outdoors to help develop young people from all walks of life.

This year, we’re focusing on local charities. A total 30 of our sites (including Banana HQ) have paired up with a dedicated, local charity, which they’ll support throughout the year by planning activities to raise money as well as awareness.

The Tribe here at Banana HQ are supporting Inspire Suffolk; a charity recognised and valued for working with young people experiencing severe disadvantage and social instability. Every day, the charity helps young people overcome challenges and get back into employment and further training.

Many of our charities are aimed at supporting people suffering from conditions such as cancer, visual impairment and depression; while others support people with disabilities through a range of initiatives, such as organising fun, rewarding and sociable group activities for them to embark on.

We also support charitable organisations like the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance Trust and Buxton Mountain Rescue, which do fantastic jobs of caring for sick and injured people, making sure they receive timely treatment.

If you’re planning to hang out at Go Ape any time soon, feel free to chat to our tribe about the things they do in the name of their chosen charity.

Time to do your bit

In 2017, we’re repeating last year’s pledge to give away £35,000 worth of Go Ape gift vouchers. You can request some of these vouchers by completing our online form, and they can be used by local charities, and in fundraising auctions and raffles.

We receive thousands of applications and unfortunately, we can’t support everybody. We like to focus on local causes located near to our courses first and foremost, and we don’t support animal or overseas charities. Please read the full terms and conditions before applying as we’d hate to waste your time.

If we all do our bit for charity – whether it’s donating cash or getting involved in a fundraiser – then we think the world would be a better, happier place for all.

Planting a legacy – how much you raised!

Trees for Cities and Go Ape

In December we worked in partnership with Trees for Cities to find a way we could help their incredible organisation to help breathe life into urban neighbourhoods – with your help we raised over £9,000!

Tree Top Junior in WinterFor those weather-hardy family and friends that braced the wintry weather and enjoyed Tree Top Junior in December we gave £2 from each booking to Trees for Cities.

“Who are Trees for Cities?”, we hear your ask…

Trees for Cities aim is to help create greener cities. Working on an international scale they work to inspire children to grow and eat good food and connect with nature. Their focus on planting trees and greening community spaces helps to make the air cleaner and transform grey, unused community spaces into vibrant green areas.

We caught up with David Elliot, Chief Executive at Trees for Cities to find out why every donation is important:

“We are thrilled that through our partnership with Go Ape we have successfully raised over £9,000 which will be put towards planting trees in cities across the UK.

With an escalating urban population it is paramount that we get children outside, active and connecting with trees and nature. But, we have fewer trees and less green space than ever before, making it increasingly difficult to give children the access to nature that they require.

By using this money to plant new trees in our cities, we are leaving a lasting legacy for the children of today and tomorrow.”

Sustainability of the environment is a huge focus for everyone at Go Ape, from ensuring no damage to the trees on our courses to creating a habitat for wildlife in the materials we use.

Find out more about how Go Ape is working towards protecting the UK’s green spaces.

From Cannock Chase to Snowdonia

Cannock

Our Go Ape Cannock tribe made their way from their base at Cannock Chase to the Snowdon hills, all on two wheels! Here, they tell their tale of the uphill struggles, the wrong turns, cycling in 30 degree heat – and the bacon butties!

Into the darkness

Cannock2At 12:15am 4 enthusiastic instructors prepare to set off into the darkness of Cannock Chase for the first of 130ish miles on the way to Wales. Just can’t help wondering how long the smiles will last.

4:45am 50 miles Sunrise – Phil had hidden flapjacks and drinks on the side of the road a few days before. This was our reactions when we found them but it was short lived as the roads from this point on started pointing decidedly upwards rather than flat.

5:50am 69 Miles Llangollen– After a long brutal uphill struggle we made it to Llangollen way ahead of schedule. Communication with the valuable support team began to make sure we were all in the same place at the same time. A slight navigational error on the bike teams part saw us in the same place but on two different roads, a mistake that was quickly rectified with a sharp about turn.

Nearing the bacon butties

6:15am 75 Miles A5 Climbs– The sun and the temperature started to rise as we climbed deep into Wales following the river Dee. The team were starting to feel fatigued and the conversation focused on keeping the team motivated to get as far as the well deserved bacon butties

7:10am 83 Miles Corwen – The sun was up and the mood was lifting as we passed the half way point with legs still feeling good. Temperature was still rising and it was looking to be the hottest day of the year

Cannock17:45am 86 Miles Breakfast Time!!! – The van crew, who were also part of the climb team, provided a massive pick me up to the bikers with bacon butties and coffee at the road side as the cyclists took a well deserved breakfast break. The whole team was regenerated and the cyclists set off again, with the van crew following as we finally got to a downhill part for the long fast decent into Betws-y-coed.

The final climb

12:00pm 130 Miles and an unbreakable bond has been made! The final climb up the Llanberis Pass and arrived to a fan fair of support made by our valuable support team. The importance and significance of the final climb wasn’t lot on the whole team.

The shadow of Snowdon and the increased temperature soon removed the smiles off our faces as the peak of the mountain revealed its self from the clouds.

12:15pm Mt Snowdon. Support team and cyclists combined to tackle the arduous 1085m climb in 30 degree heat. The views were spectacular but fatigue was starting to take its toll on the bikers bodies as the van crew tried their hardest to motivate them for ‘just another hour’.

14:00pm We are nearly at the top but smiling was starting to become a unnecessary waste of energy. For some reason the support team were looking remarkably fresh and helping boost morale but at this point cyclists knees and bodies were beginning to show the signs of a long night

Challenge accepted…Challenge complete.


14 hours 34 minutes
it took GoApe Team Cannock to ride 130 miles and climb 1085m

£1000 raised for The Outward Bound Trust.

A massive thank you needs to be said to the cyclists for being mad enough, the climb/van crew for being so dedicated and for the whole team at Cannock who took part in the bake sale to raise extra cash. Also to Jo Mclaran for making the whole thing so much easier with the supply of the minibus and the deputy manager at go ape Cannock for making sure we had what we needed to make this big challenge possible. Live Life Adventurously.

“Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go” T.S Elliot

Adventurous fundraising activities for 2016

Go Ape Three Peaks Yacht Race

It’s been just over 2 weeks since our bold and brave Go Ape team conquered the gruelling Three Peaks Yacht Race (3PYR). They endured a whopping 389 miles of sailing, 72 miles of running and 18 miles of cycling, which they completed in four days and 16 hours. Bravo!

Through the trials and tribulations (particularly the extreme weather conditions and boat engine trouble), the team still managed to bag a top ten spot. And when we asked Jerome if he’d do it again, he replied without hesitation, “Without a shadow of a doubt.

Go Ape Three Peaks Yacht Race Team

All members signed-up for the race because they wanted to challenge themselves and test their true potential, and it required months of preparation and dedication. But there was also another reason why they were embarking on this monumental adventure: to raise money for a great cause.

So far, over £6,000 has been raised for the Outward Bound Trust; a charity that helps young people from all walks of life by running adventurous and challenging outdoor learning programmes that equip them with valuable skills for education, work and life. Our target is £10,000 – and you can help us to reach it by donating via our Virgin Money Giving page!

Anyway, enough about us. How about you? Have you always fancied taking part in an adventurous sporting challenge, but never taken the next step? Well, let us help! There are tonnes of events across the UK that you can get involved in and raise some money for your charity of choice. Here are just some of them:

The 12 Labours of Hercules: 16th-17th July

Hercules was a mythical Greek Hero; and you can expect to feel pretty heroic after completing this mammoth challenge. The event takes place in the mystical surroundings of the Long Mynd, a heath and moorland plateau which forms part of the Shropshire Hills. Entrants have to complete as many of the 12 Labours as possible – but whereas Hercules had 12 years in which to do so, you’ve got just 24 hours. This wins our vote for the most imaginative event!

The South Coast Challenge: 27th-28th August

Walk, jog, run – it’s your choice. The South Coast Challenge route encompasses some truly stunning scenery, from the chalk headlands of Beachy Head in East Sussex, to the Seven Sister Country Park river valley and legendary Devils Dyke. You can opt to go the whole hog and cover 100km, but there are also half and ¼ options available.

Eton Swim: 3rd September

You’ll need to ditch the Speedos in favour of a full-bodied wetsuit for this one – an open water swim in Berkshire’s Dorney Lake, which was used for the 2012 Olympics. This one’s suitable for all ages and abilities, with distances ranging from 740km to 10km. Don’t worry about bringing your own swim cap along, as all participants are given one before they dive in!

Coast to Coast Cycle Challenge: 16th-18th September

Keen cyclist? Then check out this challenge: an epic 140 mile ride starting from the Cumbrian cost and cruising all the way to the North Sea. Of course, when we say ‘cruising,’ we mean pedalling frantically to try and bag a top spot. The route crosses the northern edge Lake District, climbs the northern Pennines and follows the fringes of Hadrian’s Wall. Prepare for serious calf ache as you climb the hills in the Eden Valley – and enjoy the descents!

Tough Mudder: Multiple dates

We like the ethos behind this one – ‘It’s not about how fast you can cross the finish line. Rather, it’s a challenge that emphasises teamwork, camaraderie, and accomplishing something almost as tough as you are.’

Tough Mudder is a 10-12 mile obstacle course designed to test your physical and mental strength. It’s like an extreme version of a Tree Top Adventure, with a good dollop of the brown stuff (mud, that is…).

Have you already signed-up for an event this year? If so, which one?

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