Category Archives: Checkatrade foundation

A Mountain of A Challenge!

Here at Checkatrade we have a big heart for charity – both local and worldwide. We’re always looking for new ways to raise money to help those in need and there’s one challenge that is heavily looming over the heads some of our staff… The Ben Nevis Challenge!

On Saturday 17th September, 17 brave souls will be putting on their hiking boots and scaling Ben Nevis in aid of The Checkatrade Foundation* and Chestnut Tree House**.

ben nevis

Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the British Isles and standing at a whopping 1346 metres above sea level and attracts climbers and mountaineers of all levels. It takes an average of 7-9 hours to get up and back down again with a variety of terrain and unpredictable weather so it’s no small feat!

Especially for us office-jobby lot!

team 1It’s a mixture of excitement and trepidation from the team in Selsey!

With less than 4 weeks to go, training and preparation has started with lots of walking, hill climbs, gym workouts and buying appropriate hiking gear. All Checkatrade staff taking part are paying for their own travel (a 10+ hour car journey for those from our Selsey office!), accommodation and equipment themselves so all the money raised will go straight to people who need it more!

map 1

You can sponsor us via or text BNCF48 £5 to 70070 to donate £5. Thank you for your support!
Any donations will be gratefully received and put to good use.


Will all 17 make it up to the top?
Will they all make it back down?
Will there be blood, sweat and tears?
Will they make it through the 10+ hour car journey together to get there?

Stay tuned for future blog posts with updates and introductions to the amazing TEAM BEN NEVIS from Checkatrade.

*The Checkatrade Foundation was set up to support people in need, both locally and oversees. It provides ongoing support to orphanages and schools in Nepal that rescue children from the sex slave industry, as well as supporting other local charities, causes and individuals in need of help. See more about our charity work here

**Chestnut Tree House is a children’s charity providing hospice care services and community support for children and young people with progressive life-shortening conditions throughout East and West Sussex and South East Hampshire. Checkatrade staff have spent time volunteering at Chestnut Tree House and really value the support they provide to local families and feel moved to help support the amazing work they do.

Update on Checkatrade Jailbreak!

Snowdrop Cheque Presentation
Photo shows: Di Levantine, Co Founder of Snowdrop and India Ede, Spirit FM
and Claire Allen, Checkatrade Fundraising Manager.

You may remember our charity Jailbreak event in May, which was a huge success, lots of fun and was all in aid of the Sussex Snowdrop Trust. They are a locally based charity that give care at home for children with life threatening illnesses providing nurses and financial help for their families.  We were delighted to visit their head office in Walburton recently and our fundraiser, Claire Allen was able to hand over a whopping cheque for £6,966!

Claire said ‘Snowdrop is a fantastic cause and we are delighted to have raised so much. We couldn’t have done it with the support of Spirit FM who promoted the event on the radio and followed teams on the day along with all the generous donations we received and the public’s help make the day so successful. A huge thank you to everyone who got involved and helped us make a huge difference’

Di Levantine, Co-Founder of ‘Snowdrop’ said ‘we are really delighted to receive this incredible amount from Checkatrade and it will make a huge difference to local families. We are going to be spending the money on Summer days out for 57 of the families we support, which will make some wonderful memories. These days are unforgettable for the children, their parents and siblings who also have to cope with so much. It’s the chance to all be together and have fun, something they all really look forward to doing.’

We are already looking forward to next year and if you’d like to get involved and enter a team, look out for more details or email [email protected].

Checkatrade are holding their first community Fun Day!

Checkatrade Funday Logo (Web)


Checkatrade are holding a community fun day on Sunday, 31 July from 1-4 pm at the Selsey Centre. We are supporting our own charitable foundation and also the fantastic RNLI, in fact some of our staff are crew members too and will be coming along dressed in the their kit and will be bringing smaller ones for children to try on too! 

All the activities and stalls are manned by staff and our charity champions who are giving their time to put on a great event and to help raise vital funds! Giving something back is at the heart of Checkatrade and we’ve got a fantastic team here that strive to make a difference.

We’ve got lots going on!

Bouncy castle (thanks to Bounceabout, Selsey for generously loaning us one)

Face and nail painting

Vintage ice cream

Come and enjoy some lovely cake and a drink as there will be plenty of refreshments on offer

Hook a duck

Guess the sweets

Beat the Goalie

Crazy Golf


Treasure map


It’s sure to be lots of fun for all the family and we hope you can join us! FREE ENTRY and parking available – just bring your pennies to spend on the activities and every penny raised will be divided equally between the charities!


If you would like to find out more, please contact fundraiser Claire Allen ([email protected])  



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No money, no phone calls, just handcuffs, swag bags and an escape…

The Checkatrade Foundation held their successful charity jailbreak challenge on Sunday, 22 May with support from Spirit FM covering live throughout the day. We had 14 teams (4 people in each) taking part and all were raising money for the Sussex Snowdrop Trust.

The event started at the Chichester Park Hotel, with teams arriving dressed to impress; there were fairies, jailbird chicks, golfers, safari gear, traffic cones, sailors, neon ravers and more!  They were then handcuffed together and boarded a coach to take them to ‘prison’ courtesy of Richardson’s Travel. Teams then made their escape and were dropped off in Horsham, a staggering 30 miles away, a location they didn’t know in advance! They then had to make their way to back to the hideout in Chichester without spending any money or using mobiles to call any friends for a lift. Only their wit and powers of persuasion could be used to blag some free transport.

All prisoners were given a swag bag to help them on their way which included hints and tips on how to get to the hideout and collecting buckets in case anyone wanted to donate.

Spirit FM covered the event live throughout the day, following teams and finding out about their progress. Listeners will be encouraged to give teams some help and phone in when the spotted them too. And many did, support from the public was amazing!

Teams travelled back on buses, trains, a boat, quad bikes, motorbikes, classic cars, police & fire vehicles to name a few. Some walked more than others but they all did so well. We are still counting up the donations but the total is nearly £6,000 so far which is a staggering amount and will make a huge difference to local children and their families.


The Checkatrade Foundation were supported by many companies and huge thanks must go to; Tesco Extra, Horsham, Chichester Park Hotel, Richardson’s Travel and David their driver, Cake Magic for their delicious cake. Also, Fontwell Park, Sainsburys Chichester, Tesco Bognor Regis and Hotel Chocolat, Chichester for their prizes.

Claire Allen, Fundraising Manager for the Checkatrade Foundation says ‘We are delighted to be supporting the Sussex Snowdrop Trust as it is such a fantastic cause, based locally that provides care at home for children with life threatening illnesses providing nurses and financial help for their families. We even had a team of Snowdrop nurses who took part and were kindly given a lift back by Arundel police after earning their travel by washing cars! All the teams looked brilliant wearing a variety of costumes and we loved hearing all about their adventures and travels throughout the day. I’d like to say a huge thank you to anyone that supported us or donated, we had a fantastic day and we’ll be back next year!’

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Checkatrade to abseil down Emirates Spinnaker Tower!

Checkatrade are holding their first charity abseil at the Emirates Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth on Sunday, 11 September and we would love you to join us and register to take part!

At over 170ft, the tower soars into the sky above Portsmouth Harbour and the Solent and is taller than the London Eye, Blackpool Tower and Big Ben – what a challenge!


This is our largest fundraiser of the year and we can have 40 people taking part but places must be booked in advance and are limited with over half gone so far! The abseil is £50 to take part and then we are asking participants to raise sponsorship before the big day.

Ambassador, Craig Philips is taking part and we are encouraging people to ‘Beat Craig’ and get down the tower in a quicker time! Our MD, Gavin Dutton and CEO, Kevin Byrne will be attending on the day as part of our cheering and support crowd below. We’ll also be collecting from the public.

Craig Phillips publicity_Checkatrade

Every penny raised from the day will support our charity, the Checkatrade Foundation (registered charity number 1137878). We are raising funds to support our project the Lighthouse Foundation children’s home in Nepal and the ongoing efforts to repair and build following their devastating earthquake last year.

£5 provides a basic uniform, school book and stationery for a child to go to school

£15 per month pays for the medical costs of a girl rescued from a life of prostitution and trafficking in Nepal

Abseil The Spinnaker Tower Logo

Please note: you have to be over 18 to take part.

To apply, go to to register and book your place. If you have any questions, please contact fundraiser Claire Allen on [email protected]

Teddy Rocks Festival 2016 sponsored by Checkatrade!

When the Newton family of Blandford Forum lost little Ted to cancer at just 10 years old it sparked something incredible in them. They chose to keep his spirit alive and in his memory, the charity Teddy20 was formed.

Teddy Rocks started out with a few bands in a local pub, The Greyhound in Blandford Forum back in 2012. This year the event reached Festival status with a new location, Stour Meadows, and a capacity of 2,200 people!

Tom Newton, Teddy’s big brother, and band member himself worked tirelessly with his crew to bring on huge acts, including The Hoosiers, From The JamGentleman’s Dub Club and Don Broco who performed to the huge crowd from the Ted Newton stage over the weekend.

Other acts over the 4 days included InMe and The King Blues, plus Room 94,Luna Wilson, Cardinal Bay,Dead! and The Gospel Youth. Saints of Sin,The Dirty Youth and Dubheart who performed from the second stage, The Sunrise Stage.

Tom and his family had a dream, to raise as much money as they could to help children fighting cancer, and support their families. After this weekend, they should feel incredibly proud of themselves. Teddy Rocks 2017 is set to be even bigger than this year! were the main sponsors of the event this year and Claire Hossell (Head of Finance) attended the event.

Checkatrade sponsor Teddy Rocks Festival 2016!

Checkatrade proudly sponsors Teddy Rocks Festival!


teddy 20

Teddy Rocks Festival announce move to new 2,200 capacity site in Blandford Forum

Full line-up released including The King Blues and InMe, alongside headliners The Hoosiers, Don Broco, Gentleman’s Dub Club and From The Jam

Teddy Rocks Festival is delighted to announce that, due to overwhelming support and unprecedented demand, the festival is moving to a brand new location. Originally due to take place at the Marsh and Ham site, Teddy Rocks has been relocated to Stour Meadows in Blandford, situated behind the Hall & Woodhouse Brewery and alongside the River Stour.

With an increased capacity of 2,200, the new site allows another 800 tickets to be released over the weekend for the charity event, raising more money to help fight children’s cancer.

The full line-up has also been released. Headliners The Hoosiers, From The Jam, Gentleman’s Dub Club and Don Broco will take to the Ted Newton stage over the weekend.


Don Broco, the final headline act to be announced, said:

“We’re very excited to have been asked by Tom to be part of Teddy Rocks this year, an incredible event for a fantastic cause. We’re all looking forward to a top weekend.”

There will also be many other exciting acts performing, such as the recently confirmed InMe and The King Blues, plus Room 94, Luna Wilson, Cardinal Bay, Dead! and The Gospel Youth. Saints of Sin, The Dirty Youth and Dubheart will also be performing, on The Sunrise Stage.

Tom Newton, Teddy Rocks Festival’s founder says:

“Teddy Rocks has been growing every year and we’re so excited to be announcing our best line-up yet! With a bigger capacity at the Stour Meadows site, we’re giving more people the chance to see what we hope will be the most awesome festival Blandford has ever seen. We can now raise even more money to help fight children’s cancer and we have the potential to make a genuinely huge difference to more children and their families – so get out there and buy a ticket!”

Teddy Rocks Festival 2016 will take place during the first May Bank Holiday and will, for the first time, feature three stages: the Ted Newton Stage (main stage), the Sunrise Stage (second stage) and, new for 2016, the Danny Coker Stage, for acoustic music and other entertainment. The family-friendly festival will have a number of food vendors on site, serving a mix of street food and take-away. The Greyhound pub, based in Blandford Forum, will also be providing a bar serving drinks at local, not festival, prices.

Tickets* are now on sale at

Weekend tickets (general admission): £49.48 (£45 + £4.48 booking fee)

Day tickets (general admission Fri/Sat/Sun/Mon): £16.50 (£15 + £1.50 booking fee)

Children’s tickets (under 12s): FREE


All proceeds from Teddy Rocks will go to Teddy20, a charity founded to fight children’s cancer.

Checkatrade proudly sponsors Teddy Rocks Festival 2016!

No money, no phone calls, just handcuffs, swag bags and an escape…

The Checkatrade Foundation and Spirit FM have teamed up and are promoting their charity jailbreak challenge on Sunday, 22 May which is launching today! They are encouraging teams of four to enter and raise money for the Sussex Snowdrop Trust. So why not get some friends, family or colleagues together and have some fun while raising money!

The event starts in Chichester whereby teams will be asked to dress to impress and will be handcuffed together before boarding a coach to take them to prison. Teams will then ‘escape’ and be dropped off at a secret and unknown location. You then have to make your way to the ‘hideout’ back at the studios without spending any money or using their mobile phone. The distance is challenging if walking so teams will need to use their wit and powers of persuasion to blag some free transport.


All prisoners will also be given a swag bag to help them on their way which will include hints and tips on how to get to the hideout.

Spirit FM will also be presenting live throughout the day, following teams and finding out about your progress. Listeners will be encouraged to give teams some help and phone in when the spot them too! Teams are also advised to use social media too #jailbreak.

The winners will be the first ones back to the ‘hideout’ and prizes are also on offer; Best Route Back, Best Dressed Team, Fastest Team Back and one for the Last Team Back!

It’s just £20 to register and then you are asked to raise £200 per team with all proceeds going to the Checkatrade Foundation which was founded to help those in need, in particular children whether they are abroad, based nationally or closer to home. The Sussex Snowdrop Trusts is a fantastic cause, based locally that provide care at home for children with life threatening illnesses providing nurses and financial help for their families.

Please go to to find out more and sign up your team or visit Spirit FM’s website

Checkatrade Foundation

checktrade foundation

Wave 105 Cash for Kids 1000 Faces

Wave 105 Cash for Kids is calling for 1000 faces to help raise a total of £100,000 for disadvantaged children across the south.

On Thursday February 25, the south’s leading radio station is launching a new charity appeal, Wave 105’s 1000 Faces, to find 1000 listeners to commit to raising £100 each throughout 2016.

The 1000 fundraisers can be anyone; individuals, groups of individuals, businesses or even schools, who each commit to raise £100 through a number of different methods, such as sponsored walks, pub quizzes, cake bakes and sponsored silences.


Wave 105’s managing director Martin Ball said: “We are hoping Wave 105’s 1000 Faces will resonate with our listeners and ultimately, raise a significant sum for much needed children’s charities and individuals across the south.”

Gloria Hill, charity manager for Wave 105 Cash for Kids, added: “This new appeal will bring together a number of people to help make a big difference to the south’s disadvantaged children. By keeping the commitment relatively low from each listener, we hope more people will work together to achieve the overall goal.”

Each participant will receive regular communications and updates from Wave 105 Cash for Kids to support their progress towards the total. The radio station will host a social hub for people to upload pictures and videos of their activities for Wave 105’s 1000 Faces using the hashtag #wave1000faces, as well as a webpage hosting updates and further information.

Those interested in becoming one of Wave 105’s 1000 Faces can find further information about the appeal online at

wave logo

Why should your company start a Charitable Leave policy?

I took a paid charitable leave week off work last summer which turned out to be the toughest yet most rewarding week of my life. I learned more about communication, diversity and comradery in those 9 days than I had in any self-development book or leadership training program. strives to make a difference; from protecting consumers from the rogue trade industry, to developing our team to be the best they can be. It was only natural that in 2014 we set up a Charitable Leave Policy, allowing every member of the team to take a full weeks paid leave each year to go out and work in the community, supporting the charities close to our hearts. A full week off work, on full pay, to do something fun and rewarding? I jumped at the chance!

Emma Tracy plate spinning

I chose Pathfinders camp for adults with special needs since my cousin Emma, who has cerebral palsy, has raved about ‘camp’ at any given opportunity for more years than I can remember. Having experience camps from my years as a girl guide I thought it sounded like fun! How hard can it be?

At 2am on the first night, I called my mum from the laundry room floor, after changing 2 wet beds in as many hours, in tears, and told her it was too hard from me. ‘Oh Claire!’ she said ‘don’t be ridiculous, you have always overcome every challenge thrown at you. Why should this be any different? Get up, sort yourself out, and carry on’.

Claire Emma facepaint

I was sharing a tent with 4 campers and 3 other helpers. On the first day, to me, all I could see was children with cerebral palsy, dystonia, hearing problems, and 2 with learning disabilities. By the end of the week they were Tina, beautiful 50 year old Tina who takes time to trust, needs patience and care, and someone to talk to. Ema, who takes a little longer to walk, and doesn’t hear without her aids, but loves to shop and have her face painted. Clara, fiercely independent in a powered wheelchair, quick witted, organised and very funny. Martha, who sees the best in every situation, quick with a smile and cuddle. And Annie, who is kind, loving, incredibly considerate and genuinely cares for all of those lucky enough to be her friend.

At camp we worked in patrols, teams, taking turns to cook, wash up, tidy the camp, collect wood, set tables, clean the shower blocks and prepare breakfast. I learnt that what had always been chores to me, to others were a huge part of being independent. They were a chance to work together, and support each other. Every task took time to plan, every person was assigned a particular job, and every helper was there to ensure each camper was enabled to play their part. Everything is possible at camp. There are zip wires for wheelchairs, we did circus skills, etched glass, made key rings and stained glass windows. We played games, had parties, painted faces, dressed up, cooked on open fires, sang campfire songs, took trips into town, watched movies and even sang karaoke (totally out of my comfort zone!).

Alice Emma Claire

I came home a changed person. There were tears every day, of sadness, joy, and laughter both with campers and helpers. My perspective of our fellow humans was changed beyond recognition, and I made some incredible lifelong friends.

I’m grateful to Checkatrade for giving me an opportunity I might have otherwise missed. The campers helped me, perhaps more than I helped them. I came away knowing its okay to ask for help, and that our differences should be celebrated and not to underestimate the power of real hard grafting team work.

Every business should, in my opinion, offer this gift to their teams. The experience is more valuable than any social or team building event, or training session I’ve ever attended.

Woodlarks Camp Site Trust Charity Number 306148

*Names have been changed to protect identity.