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Eight senior colleagues from Blakemore Retail equaled Bear Grylls himself when they took on his ‘Survive the Wild’ charity challenge to raise funds for the NSPCC.

The brave colleagues from Blakemore Retail spent two days in the Brecon Beacons in Wales with limited food and water rations and no tent, all to raise a whopping £13,428 for the children’s charity.

The senior team members included Acting Head of Blakemore Retail Matt Teague, Store Operations Director Chris Bacon, Regional Manager Paul Wiltshire, Property Development Director Alastair Haigh, Group Marketing Director Sarah Ellis, Retail Operations Support & Marketing Assistant Manager Caroline Wills and Area Managers Dave Parry and Mark Paddison, along with NSPCC Partnerships Manager Romaine Maret. 

Back at stores, colleagues were encouraged to arrange fundraisers and donate money in order to become a friend or foe of the senior team, either pledging money to help a challenger gain a Veto card against a task, or joining other store staff to ensure the contender with the most money raised had to complete the worst tasks, including eating bugs!

Guided by Bear’s team of highly trained experts, the team were taught to identify animal runs, lay traps and forage for dinner – including learning what plants are edible and eating them as a part of their meal.

Survival skills such as fire lighting, night time navigation and water purification techniques were all passed on to the team as they attempted to navigate difficult terrain such as rivers, lakes and steep ground, before building their shelter for the night and sleeping in the wilderness.

The next day, when they thought it was all over, they were presented with the ‘Gross Eat Challenge’, featuring a selection of worms, scorpions and tarantulas to try.

NSPCC Head of Partnership Management and Development Kirsty Lawson said: “It’s great to see our corporate partners trying new and exciting fundraising activities like this! The dedication of this team astounds me; eating insects and testing their survival skills in the wilderness definitely demonstrates how much they care about the cause.

“We are so grateful for their dedication in taking on this extremely difficult challenge, and they should be proud to know that this money will have a lasting impact in our fight for every childhood.”

Acting Head of Blakemore Retail Matt Teague added: “The event was a real challenge, not just physically but mentally too. I am really proud of the team for taking part, making it through a tough 24 hours and coming out the other side with smiles on their faces.

“I’m also immensely proud of our staff fundraising efforts, helping the NSPCC reach even more children through the Schools Service, such an important cause and one that is close to our hearts.”

Blakemore Retail has been in partnership with the NSPCC for 12 years, helping to raise vital funds for the organisation’s Schools Service, which visits primary schools with the charity’s ‘Speak Out. Stay Safe’ programme in order to teach children about abuse in an age-appropriate way.

The incredible fundraising efforts of Blakemore Retail colleagues has raised over £3million for the NSPCC to date.

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