Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

The Cisco Degree Apprentice’s Fundraising Challenge

September 29, 2020

Determined to help

Every September, the Cisco Degree Apprentices embark on their annual volunteering activity. Giving back is baked into the Cisco culture and strongly encouraged by our leadership. Every Cisco employee can spend 10 days a year tending to what matters to them. Even though donations and volunteering have not been as accessible as usual this year, our Apprentices are still determined to help!

Following the tragic explosion in Beirut, two Apprentices: Ciara O’Neill and Dhananajay Chaudhary felt called to action and decided to organise a four-week long fundraising challenge. Their aim was to raise money for the British Red Cross to help those suffering after the devastating event in Beirut.

But why stop there? The Yemen crisis is ‘one of the worst humanitarian disasters of our time’ and has left 11.3 million children in need of humanitarian assistance to survive. Our Apprentices decided to do their part to help by donating to Save the Children and WaterAid as well.

Team effort for a good cause

Alongside the managers, 110 Apprentices were divided into 11 teams. After a week of brainstorming, each team came up with a plethora of fundraising ideas, ranging from a sponsored 1320 km walk and 25,000 calorie burn challenge, through Missing Maps sessions to map the parts of the world home to the most vulnerable people, virtual bingo and quiz nights, to litter picking and a 24-hour pool challenge live stream. It was amazing to see how such a big and diverse group came together, united in their goal to make the world a better place.

Hear it from the Apprentices – Ciara O’Neill

I think that the volunteering initiative created to support Beirut and Yemen is extremely important and, to see the Apprentice community join this effort is really encouraging. Doing this virtually is definitely a challenge, but one we rise up to and I look forward to seeing what we come up with and execute. Giving back is an important area for Cisco and the support given from the company is amazing. Furthermore, the Apprentice community who come from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, can join together to come up with innovative ideas to raise money for charity. – Abu Bakr Ghulam Quadir

Giving back is something that Cisco as a company is really passionate about and I think it’s so important for apprentice’s and early in careers to lead the way with helping out during these uncertain times. Volunteering or raising money as part of a group always spurs me on to do more, and I’m excited to do a sponsored calorie burn with my group and keep fit while donating to a good cause! – Charli Wells-Mawdsley

I think the volunteering opportunity is a great chance for us to all get involved as a group as well as with our community. During these unprecedented times it is really important to try and keep hold of activities that make you happy and keep your mind at ease and the volunteering opportunity is certainly one of them. I am very excited about getting involved as my team have amazing ideas coming along and this also gives all the apprentices in different years the chance to interact, which is beneficial as we can learn and grow from each other. – Ikra Masood

Help us to help them

We are now halfway through the challenge but there’s still a lot to be done. The Apprentices are hoping to raise £5000 by the 12th October 2020.

The good news is you can do your part! We have set up a GoFundMe page and any donation – big or small, will be greatly appreciated. You can also help us by sharing this blog with your colleagues, friends and family to raise awareness about what we’re doing.

For more information, please go to our Go Fund Me Page

Thank you for your support!

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