It's a marathon, not a sprint...

...Well the title says it all. Three friends and I are running the 2018 London Marathon in April. I can say for certain in won’t be a sprint. At this point, running anything over 10k is looking like a challenge. With another baby due in Jan (my 3rd) and Engage only six months since authority, what better way to add more stress than to train for a marathon……

When Engage was conceived earlier this year, I wanted to make sure giving back was at the heart of our business. Becoming financially successful and being able to stand on it’s own is needed of course, we need to be able to pay staff, to pay suppliers etc, to make sure our clients get a great service. However, building something that we can be proud of is equally important to me and everyone here.

I have a vision of us being known in our local community for the work we do for others. The role we play in our society. Whether that’s helping out in schools or working with different charities on an annual basis and getting a deeper understanding and appreciation for the work they do.

News came out yesterday that around 4 million people in the UK are classed as poor and 100,000 children fell into relative poverty in the UK in 2015-16 -

Our day to day work allows us to be in the privileged position to work with some of the brightest minds in the UK, people who have been successful beyond their wildest dreams. We spend time and energy listening, understanding, collaborating to help visualise what their life could look like.

We can never be too short sighted to see that not everyone is in a position to have these conversations. That the world doesn’t work this way. It’s up to us and many other businesses like us to continue to give back, to make sure that our world is not all take take take. I want to set an example for my children, to help develop their sense of compassion and empathy towards those that need it.

I’m extremely happy and proud that this year we have partnered with Grief Encounter – Now - full disclosure - this is a charity where my wife works, so I know them well and had always earmarked them for our charity of the year in year 1.

Having observed them from a far over the past two years they’re a brilliant charity who help bereaved children and families through some of their toughest times. They work with local councils, schools, youth clubs and families directly to support children, to help them speak about their feelings, to give them comfort in some really dark moments. My wife often has to deal with an initial, distressing phone call from a member of the public and although she can never disclose full details, she has some difficult conversations on a regular basis. Their 2017 video will give you a better idea than I can about the brilliant work they’re doing.

Throughout the year, Engage are doing a number of things with the team at Grief Encounter -  we took a team to their golf day, we will host a table at their annual fundraiser next year, but the marathon is where we can physically do something to raise money for this brilliant charity.

Our training starts in January and you’ll no doubt see some requests on social media for some donations. As our friends at Tesco would say, ‘every little helps’ for this brilliant cause (no donation link yet, all in good time but thanks for looking for it 😊).

I’ll keep you updated with a few more blogs on the training schedule and how we’re doing once we’re in full swing. Now we just need to try to get through the festive period without eating too much!