Helping UK and Australasian Paralympians on the Road to Rio

 

Competing in the Paralympics takes guts, spirit, determination and commitment. Plus, a lot of money for every para-athlete. As a business, we have contributed generously to the cause through our Cadbury brand, and our colleagues in the UK and Australia/New Zealand have done their part, raising money to send their Paralympians on the path to Rio – and possibly even gold and glory!.

What’s our link with the Paralympics?

In the UK, the Cadbury Foundation has long supported the British Paralympic Association (BPA), and Cadbury was the official treat provider to the London Olympic and Paralympics Games in 2012. So it was a logical step to become an official partner of ParalympicsGB in the run up to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. On the other side of the world, Cadbury was the first consumer goods brand to throw its weight, financially and creatively, behind the Australian Paralympic team.

Engaging our colleagues

Taking part in fundraising and volunteer activities is a great way to do something worthwhile, meet colleagues from different areas of the business and have fun. And many of our colleagues in Australia & New Zealand and the UK have taken their respective Paralympic teams to heart.

In Australia, we held an internal walk-a-thon, “Race to Rio”, which involved 16 sites across the Tasman. Over 320 employees entered the race, donating $10.00 each to either the Australia or New Zealand Paralympic team. They walked nearly 66 million steps, not only reaching Rio but making it there and back twice! This raised $8,800 AUD. Colleagues also took part in different health and well-being activities and even had the chance to meet past and present Paralympians as guest speakers at town halls in our offices and plants.

In the UK earlier this year, the BPA launched a public-fundraising campaign called Supercharge ParalympicsGB. We jumped on board by recruiting our own team of Superchargers from all areas of the business who have volunteered to run a whole series of fundraising activities at their sites on top of their day jobs. Colleagues took part in activities such as sitting volleyball to simulate Paralympic events, helping allow people to experience the effort and energy para-athletes put into their sports.

How will the money help?

The Australian team is sending 170 athletes to Rio and the New Zealand team 50. The Cadbury business in Australia & New Zealand has pledged $850,000 so today’s para-athletes have the opportunity to fulfil their dreams and build a platform for a new generation to follow in their footsteps.

In the UK, the money raised from the Cadbury Foundation, the ‘Wini Eggs’ donation and other sources will support Supercharge Paralympics GB, although we’re also sponsoring three athletes from different parts of the UK – Sam Ingram (judo), Louise Hunt (wheelchair tennis) and Grace Clough (rowing) – who have generously given their time to engage with our colleagues on sites. We’re also supporting the Paralympic Inspiration Programme, which aims to develop the next generation of athletes who aim to compete in the Tokyo games in 2020.

Reaching out to consumers

In the UK, we’re making a £100,000 donation to the BPA through the Cadbury Foundation – and we plan to give the same sum through the launch of a special edition of ‘Wini Eggs’ – special edition Cadbury Mini Eggs where consumers who find the ten winning golden eggs can win a family trip for four to Rio. And, of course, it’s a special treat to get Mini Eggs in summer, as they’re normally only available at Easter!

As part of our campaign in Australia and New Zealand, we asked people to join us in showing support and appreciation for the Paralympic teams and rally behind the athletes on their journey to the Games. Our large digital and social media campaign featured five Paralympians from both Australia and New Zealand and struck a chord with our consumers, who sent in nearly 6,000 messages of support to be shared with para-athletes.

Counting down the days

The 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio begin on 7 September. Our UK colleagues will film short “good luck” videos which we’ll send to our UK athletes Sam, Louise and Grace. And we’ve got lots of other events planne – like Rio-themed food in our restaurants – if we can’t all go to Rio, at least we can bring a bit of Rio to the UK! In Australia, we’ll be cheering on all our para-athletes who excite and inspire us with their dedication, and celebrating the Games by running internal competitions, training sessions and nutrition sessions that align to our global wellbeing agenda. The countdown has begun!

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