When it comes to employee wellness and corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, why do companies keep coming back to Coastrek? Cathy from Specsavers - who entered 5 teams walking the spectacular route on the Mornington Peninsula - talks us through why Coastrek is such a special program for them and how they managed to raise almost $23K in 2022!
Specsavers have participated in Coastrek since it partnered with The Fred Hollows Foundation which is our national charity partner. When Coastrek moved to working with Beyond Blue, it had already become a staple event in our CSR and Wellbeing calendar and each year we get more and more people wanting to participate.
We were late in organising our teams this year so we didn’t end up having much of an opportunity train together (and with hybrid working it was a little difficult to organise) but we have in previous years. In the past we would arrange smaller walks (approx. 6km) midweek close to the office and then progressively longer walks on the weekend in the lead up to the event which were in all sorts of different scenic locations from the Yarra and Maribyrnong rivers to Mt Dandenong to Port Phillip Bay. Anyone who wanted to join could, it wasn’t just for those participating in the event.
It was so easy to register, pay and fundraise, Robby (Coastrek's Partnerships and Customer Service Manager) was brilliant in looking after us. This year we had 5 teams of 4. Team members included those who had participated previously as well as newcomers. Some participated for the challenge of it, some for the chance to get involved and get to know other people while doing something good for the community, and others because they wanted to support Beyond Blue.
Fundraising was easy, most of our team reached out to colleagues, business partners, family and friends for the majority of their fundraising. We ran a ‘how many lollies in the jar competition’ at the office and the Specsavers matched individual fundraising efforts dollar for dollar. In total we raised $22,880!
What makes Coastrek so special to us as a challenge-based fundraiser is the location and the camaraderie. Team members are able to take the day off work using their volunteer leave, we arrange a bus to get team members down and back, the scenery is just stunning, the trek is challenging and you really do walk as a team to get to the finish line together.
Our experience on event day is always fantastic. Everyone has a great time and really enjoys getting to know each other better. You have a lot of time to chew the fat and learn things about your colleagues that you never knew. Everyone enjoys the scenery and the challenge of getting to the end in one piece. For some people it’s more of a challenge than they originally anticipate but when you’re in a team everyone’s there to support everyone else in getting to the end and when you cross the finish line you definitely feel a sense of achievement and pride.