Insurance employees raise money for South African village

Employees from insurance providers Rias, Ageas Insurance and Fortis Life have helped to raise more than £50,000 towards building a children’s crËche in the village of Luphisi in South Africa.

The ‘Fortissimos’ team took part in the final of the 2010 Times Leadership Challenge, along with teams from Innocent and TK Maxx.

In addition to raising the £50,000 sum for the creche, the finalist teams had the mission of decorating, furnishing and landscaping the area during their time in South Africa.

Charlotte Palmer, head of customer experience, and Andy Rigler, business risk manager, at Rias, along with five other Ageas colleagues took part in mental, physical and psychological challenges in the UK over the last few months, culminating in five days spent in Luphisi.

Palmer said: “From priming and painting walls, digging vegetable patches, and installing swings, to learning Zulu warrior dances, organising a children’s sports day in the 40-degree heat and planting 400 marula trees, working with the community in Luphisi was an unforgettable experience and will have a lifelong impact on all of us, in both our professional and personal lives.

“There were certainly a few tearful goodbyes when the time came to leave our new friends, and seeing the difference we all made by working together was invaluable.”

Janet Connor, managing director of Rias, added: “What Charlotte, Andy and their Ageas colleagues achieved in such a short space of time was quite phenomenal.

“Their clear purpose, belief in ability to deliver and the willingness to adapt to ever-changing situations ensured that ‘Fortissimos’ made a sustainable difference to the community of Luphisi.

“From a leadership perspective, the team was able to apply their work experiences to a very different set of circumstances and get the job done. Everyone at Rias and Ageas is extremely proud of their achievements.”

Read more articles on motivating staff through charity challenges