Dialogue digs deep for Nelson’s Journey

We know we’ve got big hearts here at Dialogue, but 2018 gave us the chance to prove it as we teamed up with Norfolk charity Nelson’s Journey.

Nelson’s Journey is a charity that supports children and young people living in Norfolk who have experienced the death of a significant person in their life. The charity approached Dialogue at the end of 2017 with a challenge – join the Twenty20 campaign alongside 19 other local companies and raise £20,000 (£1,000 each) to fund a Child Bereavement Support Worker for a year.

Not content with just reaching the target, Dialogue’s Agency Director Zoe Francis-Cox set us a different task – split into four teams and raise £1,000 per team.

“When Nelson’s Journey announced its Twenty20 initiative last year, there was no question Dialogue wanted to be part of it and support this fabulous Norfolk charity,” said Zoe. “I was kind to the team by only quadrupling the target – I knew they would smash it… and they did! The enthusiasm, creativity and sheer determination of everyone in the agency was outstanding and I’m super proud of every penny of the £6,026 we raised.”

On your bike!

2018 dawned and the challenge began. Striking success early, Team 122 (so named due to the 122-mile distance between Dialogue’s Norwich and London offices) organised a static bike ride in February, aiming to cycle 122 miles between them in one day.

Local company Pedal Revolution kindly donated a static bike to the cause, while the London team members hit their local gym to get the pedals pumping! Team leader Jessica Bennett said: “I thought we had a good chance of getting £1,000 in one go with a big challenge like this. The bike is able to replicate hills, so it was incredibly hard work at times! But we got there and became the first team to reach our target!”

The team was also able to take advantage of the Archant Gold scheme, where Archant matches the money raised for charitable causes, which doubled Team 122’s total to more then £2,000.

Going for gold

Elsewhere, Lucy Bendall’s team (‘The Benders’) were busy selling scratch cards to generate some cash, but also enjoyed fundraising success by getting active. Lucy cycled from London to Brighton in June while team member Claire Price ran the City of Norwich half marathon in April.

Sitting comfortably on £550 by the end of June, the team applied for Archant Gold matched funding, meaning The Benders also smashed their target.

Lucy said: “We started by arranging a raffle prize draw at Christmas 2017, which was received very well. Archant Gold is an extremely beneficial scheme in which the company has matched everything the team has raised.”

A long walk home

Taking a somewhat less healthy approach (but no less successful) was Horatio’s Crew. They joined forces with Krispy Kreme to sell delicious doughnuts to the hungry office.

Team member Claire O’Sullivan also used her sewing skills to offer clothing alterations, readjusting jeans, dresses and even a jumpsuit over the course of the year.

And, to work off all those doughnuts, Horatio’s Crew went on an epic 35.7-mile walk along the Norfolk coast from Cromer Pier to Britannia Pier, Great Yarmouth, which took 14 hours and 20 minutes.

James Boyle, who took part in the walk, said: “The walk took longer than we anticipated. Stopping at Walcott for chips and a cup of tea was humbling. The owners at Kingfisher Café not only gave us our drinks for free, they also donated £10 towards the walk. Those chips tasted so good!”

Buckets at the ready

Finally, the Fundercats team had a slow and steady approach to fundraising, holding monthly car washes at Dialogue HQ all year.

Team leader Elle Watson said: “The Fundercats car washes went down a storm! With customers from HR, Dialogue and Accounts among other departments, the jokes came thick and fast as the team worked. We try not to mention the time we nearly lost a car when someone forgot to put the handbrake on properly… and when a certain member of the team took charge of the pressure washer with gusto, soaking everyone in the process!”

Thanks to their efforts, the car park has been full of shiny machines all year round!

After Dialogue’s year of fundraising, Nelson’s Journey said: “We are completely overwhelmed with your fundraising efforts over the past 12 months and cannot believe that [the Twenty20 businesses] raised an incredible £55,000! Not only have you all absolutely smashed your joint goal of £20,000, but you’ve also helped raise awareness of our work. We are so grateful for your support and the incredible impact that the 20 businesses coming together can make for bereaved children and young people locally.”

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