Hundreds of people camped out at Gallops Farm in Findon as part of a weekend raising money for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award charity.
Among them were around 400 UK Power Networks staff, who made up the biggest group taking part in the DofE Adventure, massive fundraising event on the South Downs.
Hikers could choose a one-day 30km walk or a two-day 50km trek, either following a signposted route or self-navigating for an additional challenge.
Gordon Taylor, a reporting analyst, said: “It was a great day, with a very good sense of camaraderie between colleagues and everyone else we met on the walk. There’s no question it was challenging in places, particularly the big hill shortly after the first checkpoint, and it was pretty hot in the afternoon, but no complaints, definitely a worthwhile experience raising a lot of money for a good cause.”
Michael Horwood, public affairs manager, took part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme when he was younger.
He said: “It was fantastic to once again have the opportunity to raise money for the award. The atmosphere and the teamwork over the course of the event was a pleasure to be a part of.”
Joseph Kelly, trainee project engineer, found the hills to be a challenge, though the views were a bonus.
He said: “The location of the South Downs for the event was beautiful, visiting quaint villages, gorgeous rolling hills and well placed checkpoints along the way.
“The walk itself was challenging but really enjoyable and the feeling of relief and pride approaching the finishing line was something special.”
This is the third year UK Power Networks staff have taken part in the DofE Adventure and it was the company’s highest turnout yet.
Alex Sturge, head of engagement and development, said: “For our employees, the experience is unparalleled in the way it brings teams together and builds a culture of support. It’s also a great opportunity to raise funds for a fantastic cause. The DofE transforms the lives of young people and we are delighted to support them in this way.”
The power workers, who help deliver electricity to 8.3million customers across the south east, London and east of England, together covered more than 17,000km and raised more than £40,000 for charity.
David Oates, interim chief executive of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, said: “The DofE Adventure is an opportunity for adults to push themselves out of their comfort zones, enjoy the great outdoors, build resilience and enhance teamwork skills, whilst raising funds to give more young people the opportunity to gain essential skills, experience and confidence by participating in The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
“It is ideal for groups of employees to join together to achieve a common goal and we are grateful for the support of UK Power Networks colleagues and their continuing involvement in this initiative.”