Hi everyone, I’m Luke and I’m a Project Manager Intern in the Operational Improvement team. I work on various projects that improve the way we do things here at Virgin Media. I’m really enjoying my year and especially like the various opportunities you have to help fantastic causes.
At Virgin Media we have an awesome national charity partnership with the disability charity ‘Scope.’ To support this partnership, every year, the Virgin Media grads and interns split into teams and compete to see who can raise the most money for Scope before December 15th. The competition is divided into three parts. Firstly, we were tasked with collecting as many bags of stock as possible – each bag is worth £20 to Scope as stock to sell in their high street stores. Secondly, as a team we had to work towards achieving a collective fundraising target of £1,500. Finally, each group was given the really exciting opportunity of running a Scope high street store for a day. On the day; if your revenue is greater than what it was on the same day the previous year you get to add the difference to your fundraising total. I led one of the teams in the most recent competition and would like to share my experience with you.
It was clear from the first team call that I had a very strong and dedicated team. However, I also became very aware of the challenge we faced. How on earth were we going to meet the fundraising target of £1500, organise running a charity shop and get round to collecting second hand goods all at the same time!? Not forgetting we also had our normal work duties to complete! I suddenly found the prospect quite daunting. But, if I’ve learnt anything from my Project Management placement at Virgin Media, it’s that new challenges are to be embraced not feared and if you give it your all, ask the right people and remain organised the result will nearly always be very positive.
So that’s what we did. We got in contact with the very helpful partnership representatives at Scope and started chipping away at the £1500 fundraising target. We sold Christmas cards, completed a fun run and organised a bake sale. We also managed to secure two return flights to New York courtesy of Virgin Atlantic as a prize in a silent auction! As for the stock donation, each member of the team agreed to try and collect 15 bags. A target that proved achievable as in the end we collected 87 bags which added £1740 to our overall target.
Before we could catch our breath it was the 8th of December and we were making our way down to Clapham Junction in London to run the local Scope store. Running the shop undoubtedly developed our communication skills, because persuading people to donate to your cause really isn’t easy. The day also tested our resolve – standing out in the rain dressed as an Elf isn’t for the faint hearted! That said the day was very rewarding and the fact we increased revenue from the same day last year by £165.46 made it all the better.
Soon after the day in Clapham Junction the results were announced and I was very pleased to hear my team raised £3423.69 and were the overall winners. But what was really impressive was that as a collective group the grads and interns had raised £17,786.61 for Scope! A truly remarkable achievement and something I am very proud to have been a part of. The Scope challenge was a wonderful experience that developed my leadership, communication and organisation skills whilst supporting a fantastic cause. I’d recommend it to anyone!