Synergy’s CSR Snapshot features some of the most recent corporate social responsibility activities that Syniverse has participated in to help make a positive impact on the communities where we live and work.
What was the activity?
On Sept. 9, 10 members of the London office participated in an obstacle course event called Nuclear Blast 2018 and raised over £750 (approximately $985, as of mid-October 2018) for a local charity named Whitechapel Mission. The event was held by the company Nuclear Races, which offers a range of obstacle courses to challenge people of all ages and levels of fitness. The courses are designed around an old nuclear fallout bunker in a rural area that includes a mix of natural and man-made obstacles. Teams as well as individual participants can register for an obstacle course event to support and raise funds for a particular charity.
What organization did the activity support?
We raised funds for Whitechapel Mission, a London charity that has been helping Londoners to help the homeless since 1876. Whitechapel Mission helps the homeless by meeting immediate needs, such as food, shelter, clothing, and medical care, as well as longer-term needs, through its recovery programs that address deeper needs related to life skills, job skills, and addiction recovery. Progress is measured against four criteria that Whitechapel uses to indicate how a life has been transformed from homelessness to hope: connection to family; commitment to sobriety; a job and a place to live; and a plan for the future.
How many Syniverse employees participated?
Ten members of our London office. We had 11 register, but, unfortunately, on the day of the event, the London Underground transport system decided to provide its own obstacle course and canceled a number of trains. As a result, this prevented one of our runners from making it. We organized the event through our Employee Association, a group responsible for leading charitable and extracurricular activities in communities where Syniverse offices are located. Each year, Syniverse Employee Associations around the world identify charitable organizations in their local areas, and then get the input of the office’s employees to select a few charities that the office would like to support.
What did the Syniverse team do?
In August, taking part in this event seemed like a great idea. But in September, it felt like the worst decision ever! None of us were regular exercisers, and although we all put on a brave face, deep down we were all petrified about lasting through the course or being able to handle all the obstacles.
The course itself was 5 kilometers long and consisted of 35 obstacles – including a run in total darkness through an old nuclear bunker. We had a two-hour time limit to complete the course, and although we could have completed as many laps as we had wanted, our goal was to tackle everything together as a group and just get around in one piece.
A thick and heavy mud pit set the tone for the day. It required everyone to get drenched and stuck in heavy mud as we had to wade through pools of mud and climb over various obstacles. This was followed by a zip-line challenge, a slide into small lakes, and a run through the nuclear bunker. All in all, we had to overcome 35 obstacles – all of which we tried, and sometimes succeeded in overcoming, and sometimes not. We ended up finishing one lap in a little more than two hours, but it was an amazing team-building experience with smiles and laughs the entire time!
What was the most rewarding part of this activity?
First and foremost, it was being able to raise over £750 for the worthy work that Whitechapel Mission does in providing care for homeless and disadvantaged people around London. Second, though, it was bonding in a way that we’ll never forget. We had countless falls, slips and slides, we had two shoes lost in the mud (but thankfully dug out), we had pints of dirty water being drunk, and we, of course, had a lot of aching muscles. At the end of it all, however, was an absolute fantastic way to spend a day!
Rob Ramsey is Senior Director of Customer Operations and works at Syniverse’s London office.