It can be easy to forget how important exercise is, we are all busy in our day to day lives working and in the roles we play within our home lives. For those who aren’t very physical (including myself) the Steptember challenge, a global charity initiative running throughout September, was a reminder about the importance of being active, not just to support our strategic global charity, SOS Children’s Villages, but also for our own health and fitness. To that end, we asked everyone at Amec Foster Wheeler to challenge their colleagues and improve their health and fitness for a good cause.

As part of this challenge, every participant donated a minimum of £5.00 to help support vulnerable SOS children and families in nine SOS Children’s Villages around the world which we selected in line with some of our geographies;

  • Baku, Azerbaijan: Supporting children’s education
  • Beijing, China: Supporting mothers' training
  • Chennai, India: Supporting vulnerable children and families
  • Kolkata, India: Family strengthening and educational support
  • Plaisir (near Nanterre), France: Providing family homes
  • San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain: Housing young people and families and offering vocational training
  • Ennerdale, South Africa: Supporting children and families
  • Surrey (Vancouver), BC, Canada: Fostering the future of children and youth through education
  • Morosolo, Italy: SOS Children's Village

Everyone taking part was asked to set up an account on ‘MapMyWalk’, so they could map their routes and record their activity. The idea behind using the ‘MapMyWalk’ app was to inspire competitiveness amongst our colleagues to walk more and to organise group events that would raise additional funds. Since I was driving global communication for Steptember, I wanted to set a good example. Along those lines, I set up a group for my colleagues in the Reading office, where I am based. We are lucky enough to be surrounded by lots of grounds, which can make a pleasant lunchtime walk as long as it’s not raining!

There were several initiatives across our global offices. Our Shuaiba, Kuwait, office held a chocolate and branded highlighters ‘sale’, raising over £500 for the SOS Chennai Village. The Abu Dhabi Engineering team completed an 8km charity walk along Abu Dhabi beach. Our HVEC team identified different spots in Chennai and walked for a minimum of one hour and did some further group activities. Our Philadelphia employees walked over 2500 steps each for the Steptember challenge through LOVE Park (JFK Plaza). The Vancouver offices raised over £600 through two 50/50 draws and an employee golf tournament. And finally congratulations to our Paradip Site team who completed a 3km Steptember walk.

The Steptember ‘winners’ will be announced this month, based on the most steps/longest distance walked per team, and the individual that walked the most steps/longest distance.

Through Steptember we have collectively raised just over £3,000 which will be matched by the company. On behalf of SOS Children’s Villages, thank you to those who took part and for your generous donations.