At Birdie, we’re proud to be a certified B Corporation and to have built a team of determined individuals who go above and beyond to do good for our local communities and the world around us.
We’re committed to 200 hours of volunteer work as a team per year, but this year, two members of our team are taking on a huge challenge to go even further for a local charity. Every other week, members of the Birdie team dedicate their Friday afternoons to help with gardening at the Age UK Camden centre in London, and feeling inspired by the centre and the work they do, Emma-Lee Curtis, our Content Manager and Finola Rance, our People Coordinator, have decided to go the extra mile - in every sense.
This year, the pair will be taking on the Slateman Triathlon and Slateman Duathlon on 14th June 2020, all in aid of Age UK Camden.
Starting in Llanberis; the heart of Snowdonia’s industrial history the Triathlon and Duathlon combine stunning scenery with epic challenges. Fin will be swimming the fresh, open water of Llyn Padarn, and both of the women will be running on a combination of trail and road through the historic slate quarries and cycle over the mountain passes; all in the shadow of Wales’ highest peak, Snowdon.
The Triathlon covers a chilly 1500m swim in open water, followed by a 51km cycle and topped off with an 11k run through the Snowdonia mountain scenery, and the duathlon follows a similar route, subbing in a 6k run instead of a swim.
We’re immensely proud to support the women on their mission, so we thought we’d get the lowdown on why they decided to take on such a challenge for Age UK Camden.
Q: Girls, tell me, what made you choose Age UK Camden?
Emma-Lee: “For me, it was born out of the work we already do with the team at Age UK Camden. Having visited the centre at Henderson Court and seen first-hand the difference it can make, I knew that it was a cause I could get behind. Plus, as it’s a local charity, we can be sure that all the proceeds will go directly into helping people in the local area.”
Finola: “We wanted to get involved in our local community in a positive way, and we already have connections with Age UK Camden via a volunteering gardening scheme Birdie takes part in. We also want to further the Birdie mission to radically improve the lives of one million elder adults by 2023.”
Q: What would you like to achieve with your fundraising?
Emma-Lee: “It’s a common misconception that it’s impossible to be lonely in London. In fact, feeling isolated in such a buzzy, busy place like London can feel even more crushing than anywhere else. For many elderly people currently in Camden, their children have likely grown up and moved away, reducing contact and leaving them to survive a city that seems to change daily. Age UK Camden have a number of important projects that our raised money could help with, like their Advice Coffee Morning, Good Neighbours Befriending Schemes and Digital Inclusion Computer Drop-In Sessions. But above all, if I can trade a few hours running and cycling to make someone feel less lonely, I think I can say I’ve achieved my goal.”
Finola: “Exactly what Emma-Lee said. We would like to raise funds to go towards a tangible benefit for the residents of Age UK Camden, of their choosing. The money we raise could go a long way towards impacting so many people!”
Q: And what’s the official target?
Q: Nice! So are you doing anything else to raise money?
Finola: We are also planning an office bake sale and clothes donation drive alongside our triathlon fundraising. We’re hoping to get the office involved with lots of smaller events so that we can raise as much money as possible.
Q: How are you getting prepared for the event?
Emma-Lee: “I’m a regular cyclist so I’ve been trying to top up my commuter miles, which take me to around 100 per week. As the Duathlon is in Snowdonia, the challenge will be simulating the terrain we’ll be competing on - London isn’t best known for its hills! With that in mind, I’ll be heading to the Peak District at the end of March to undertake a gruelling weekend of hill training, and from then on I’ll be adapting my training routines to include treadmill and spin-bike incline sessions and more weights to build some strength for the event.”
Finola: “I have a training plan which includes a swim, bike and run each week, along with interval training and yoga. I started slowly in Jan, and am increasing my distances each month in the lead-up.”
Q: How have Birdie been supporting you in your goal?
Emma-Lee: “The team have been great in supporting us. We keep them updated with our training via our internal comms, and as this is a charity event they have been fully behind us the whole way. We’re hoping they support us with a few donations too ;)”
Finola: “Birdie are very supportive of us and are fully behind us in the fundraising initiatives, allowing us to host them from our offices, with our colleagues making donations to us too. They are also going to sponsor a running shirt for us to wear during the triathlon which includes Age UK's logo.”
Q: How can people donate?
Emma-Lee: You can donate online, through Virgin Money Giving at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Elfin
Q: Wait, what’s Elfin?
Emma-Lee: “It’s a mixture of both of our names… As my name is a bit of a mouthful, I shorten it to just my initials - EL”
Finola: “El… and Fin… Of Course!”
Q: “Elfin sounds like it could have some great fancy dress options… anything in the pipeline?”
Emma-Lee: “Well… if we manage to hit our target we’ll definitely be dressing ridiculously to celebrate! Sorry Fin, it’s been written now!”
Girls this is great and we’re all rooting for you here at Birdie. We wish you every luck in your mission! Be sure to keep us updated with how you get on and we’ll check back in soon.
Feeling inspired by Elfin’s story? You can donate here: