Highfield staff gear up for London Marathon 2016

This Sunday marks the 35th annual London Marathon.

Our Managing Director Christian Sprenger, IT Director Ashley Reddy and Becky Ashley will be lacing up their trainers to run a gruelling 26.2 miles in aid of our chosen charity VICTA, alongside Olympic athletes Dame Kelly Holmes and Iwan Thomas.

This fantastic charity provides equipment and services and hosts events that help blind and partially sighted children and young people to develop socially, emotionally and educationally, as well as offering their parents a vital network of support and information.


Becky and Chris at the Chesterfield Marathon – trying to get some miles in preparation for the 26.2 challenge!

Chris has now been dubbed by all of us at Highfield as ‘marathon man’ as this weekend will be his 3rd appearance at the event (we’ll keep you informed if he can beat last year’s finish time of 3 hours 29 minutes!), however for our IT Director Ashley and marketing manager Becky, it will be their first time competing.

After signing up for the challenge back in May last year, they have all embarked on rigorous training regimes and Chris has regularly been seen testing his endurance on lunch breaks! We’ve summarised Ashley’s training in numbers below using information gathered from his fitness device.

London Marathon Infographic2

As this went to press, the Highfield heroes have received over £1,500 in sponsorship so far for the London Marathon, and we certainly put the fun in fundraising at our Christmas party, which saw our wonderful team donate over £1,000 in just one night!

To support them on their adventure this weekend, please click here

Veterans Challenge for Spearhead Compliance Training CEO

CEO and Co-Founder of Spearhead Compliance Training, John Loveday, will complete a military fitness test every hour for 24 hours as part of his ongoing fundraising campaign to help veterans.

On Saturday 9 April at 10am, John will embark on a 24-hour ‘veterans challenge’ to test himself mentally and physically to reach his fundraising target of £2,000. The challenge will see him complete a fitness circuit comprising 44 press ups, 50 sit-ups and a 1.5 mile run every hour for 24 hours…and all with no sleep!

Before setting up HABC-approved centre Spearhead Compliance Training, John served with the armed forces for seven years, and it is a cause very close to his heart. ‘While serving with Veterans Challenge the British Army, I was injured in a blast and was lucky to get away with minor injuries,’ John said. ‘This was not the case sadly for many of my friends, colleagues and brothers in arms, with our regiment suffering heavy losses. I left the military and struggled to gain employment, but various civilian and military charities helped me get on my feet. Now I want to give back. Boxing and fitness have always been a part of my life, so I want to give back to those charities by challenging myself physically and mentally.’

All funds raised will be donated to military charities that help soldiers injured during combat, or struggling after service life.

To support John and help him reach his fundraising goal, please visit here.

Highfield Chief Executive’s charity match to fight bowel cancer

Highfield Chief Executive Jason Sprenger spent a fantastic Sunday (22 November 2015) at Wembley Stadium playing in a charity football match to help raise money for bowel cancer research.

The match, organised by the Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK and hosted by Bobby’s wife Stephanie, raised over £50,000 and attracted around 1000 spectators.

Four teams played on the day, with Jason representing the Argentina team, captained by former England international Luther Blissett and which also included Danny Jones from pop group McFly.

While Jason managed to break a finger on the day, it was all in the name of a great cause and fantastic fun for all those involved.

If you would like to support the Bobby Moore Fund, go to http://bobbymoorefund.cancerresearchuk.org/bobby-moore/

Successful jump for Team Skyfall raises £1200

After a successful jump by our team in Dubai in June, it was the turn of Team Skyfall here in the UK last weekend!

FB_IMG_1436707839627Taking place on 11 July 2015 at Hibaldstow Airfield in North Lincolnshire, the skydive saw Highfield team members Amiee Saul (Corporate Customer Service Manager), Sean Asquith (Print Manager), Claire James (Corporate Account Manager) and Holly McLean (Quality Administrative Assistant) take the plunge from 15,000 feet – nearly two miles up – to raise money for Visually Impaired Children Taking Action (VICTA).

FB_IMG_1436707850379Since 2013, Highfield has been helping to support the charity, which works to provide equipment, services and events that help blind and visually impaired children and young people develop socially, emotionally and educationally, as well as offering their parents a vital network of support and information.

FB_IMG_1436707877058Claire James said, ‘What a fantastic experience! This was a great opportunity to not only challenge ourselves but also to raise funds and awareness for such a worthy cause as part of Team Skyfall.  We’d like to thank everyone who has supported us and kindly donated to VICTA. Now there’s photographic evidence that the task was carried out it’s not too late to donate! Feel free to laugh at my embarrassing freefall pictures!’

FB_IMG_1436635992038So far Team Skyfall has raised nearly £1200, but you can still donate to VICTA by clicking here.

FB_IMG_1436635969734Well done Team Skyfall!

Sunny start to summer for MPD

Pera SSW Awards Stage MPDIt was a sunny start to the summer as Midlands Professional Development (MPD) took one of the top prizes at the Pera Training SSW Awards.

The Nuneaton-based organisation, which is a HABC Approved Centre, took the award for best Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) Provider after being nominated by Pera for their outstanding support and delivery of training within the SSW contract.

There was also a special mention for MPD learner Margot Roberts of Way Ahead Support Services, who was a highly-commended finalist for the ‘Most Achieved SSW Learner’, for her ‘pivotal’ SSW journey from a reluctant learner to demonstrating new-found confidence in her abilities as a result of her training.

The ceremony took place on 25 June 2015 at the Hinckley Island Hotel in Leicestershire. The SSA Awards are an exclusive celebration of the skills support and learning made possible by the European Social Fund, Skills Funding Agency and Local Enterprise Partnership , and are designed to recognise employers and learners alike who have utilised skills development in the workplace to help make a difference.

For MPD, it was the culmination of a two-year SSW scheme in which the organisation helped employers from a range of priority sectors to access expert, tailored training. So far, over 4000 learners in 1200 businesses have benefitted from the project.

Claire McKenzie, MPD Associate Directors, said, ‘Winning this award is a marvellous achievement for the company and well-earned reward for the hard work of a great team’.

Dubai office takes to the skies for VICTA

Our team out in Dubai took to the skies this June – and then skydived back down again – to raise money for VICTA.

26The jump, which took place on 18 June 2015 in Dubai, saw international director Rebecca Sprenger, office manager Helen Greenhow and systems and audits manager Rodolfo Madrid take up the challenge and put their fears aside as they braved sweltering temperatures and last-minute nerves.

3VICTA works to provide equipment, services and events that help blind and visually impaired children and young people develop socially, emotionally and educationally, as well as offering their parents a vital network of support and information.

5Since 2013, Highfield (a provider of services such as end-point assessment) and its team have been taking part in numerous initiatives to raise money for VICTA, with some staff even contributing their time to assist in their events.

8Rebecca Sprenger said, ‘Even though we are all the way over here in Dubai, there is still a really close relationship between us, the UK office and the rest of the Highfield team – wherever we are based. And we certainly aren’t ones to duck a challenge, so when there was the opportunity for HABC MEA to stand up and be counted for VICTA, we jumped at the challenge. Or in our case, jumped out of a plane!

10One of my roles as International Director is to ensure that both the UK and Middle East offices work in harmony together to deliver the quality, value, service and integrity synonymous with the Highfield brand globally. This was a great way to bring the team together as one, achieve something that none of us will ever forget and raise money for a wonderful cause.

15And now that we’ve done it, Team Skyfall back in the UK can’t back out now!’

17Another Highfield team, Team Skyfall, will be performing their own skydive 15,000 feet above Hibaldstow Airfield in North Lincolnshire in July, also for VICTA.

VICTAFor more information or to make a donation, click here

23No pressure, Team Skyfall….

For information on another event we participated in to help VICTA, please visit here.


Team Skyfall reach for the skies in charity mission

Highfield’s very own ‘Team Skyfall’ will be taking their fundraising activities to quite literally a new level –namely 15,000 feet – as they jump out of a plane to raise money for VICTA.

Taking place on 11 July at Hibaldstow Airfield, North Lincolnshire, the jump will see Highfield team members Claire James, Amiee Saul, Sean Asquith and Holly McLean taking the plunge (harnessed to instructors) from over 2 miles up before freefalling to 5000 feet at 120 mph.

VICTA works to provide equipment, services and events that help blind and visually impaired children and young people develop socially, emotionally and educationally, as well as offering their parents a vital network of support and information.

Claire James said, ‘Along with the rest of Team Skyfall, I’m really looking forward to completing this once-in-a-lifetime challenge with the opportunity to not only raise funds, but also awareness of the charity. Behind the bravado we’re all a little apprehensive – throwing yourself from an aircraft at 15,000ft isn’t an everyday occurrence after all! However we hope it’ll be a memorable experience for all involved’.

If you would like to contribute to Team Skyfall, just click here

Marathon mountain challenge for One Stop Team

A team from retail business One Stop Stores was literally climbing mountains for charity this June to raise money for a neonatal unit.

On 3 June 2015, One Stop’s People Team completed the Welsh 1000 challenge, a test of physical endurance and mental strength that involves a 23-mile marathon hike across five Welsh mountains – all over 1000 metres high. And to cap it all, the team completed the challenge – which starts at Abergwyngregyn, near the foreshore of Conwy Bay, and finishes on the summit of Snowdon – in under 14 hours!

IMG_20150603_101229926_HDRThe challenge was undertaken in memory of Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Rose Tallis and for the staff on the Jessop Wing – part of Sheffield Training Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit – which is where little Betty was born on 3 January 2015.

IMG_20150603_110848814_HDRParents Paula and Anthony Tallis have created a Just Giving page to raise as much money for the unit as possible, which contains more information on Betty’s story and why the One Stop team are getting behind this initiative.

Caroline Riley, One Stop Region People Advisor, Region 5, said, ‘The walk went really well. It was extremely challenging, however the whole team completed Bettys Walk in under 14 hours! The weather started out very bad with winds, rain and fog but after the first two peaks the sun came out for us to give us some great views’.

If you would like to sponsor the team and donate money to help the hospital care for babies like Betty, and support families like Paula and Anthony, please click here.

eResponse’s £55k charity drive for disabled girl

charity driveMidlands training and recruitment business eResponse will be holding a number of fundraising events this year and next to help improve the quality of life of a girl born without eyes.

The Rugby-based organisation, which is a HABC Approved Centre, is committed to raising £55,000 to support eight-year-old Mia Williams with equipment and alterations to her home.

Mia suffers from cerebral palsy and epilepsy, and needs to be carried and helped around her home by parents Fran and Dean Williams – who is a manager at eResponse’s Rugby branch.

Amongst the events the firm has planned are a charity ball in 2016, cycle rides, marathons, car washes and a summer fete. The money raised will go towards a specially-fitted bath for Mia, as well as various pieces of equipment and changes to the layout of the family’s home.

eResponse Managing Director Paul Alekna said, ‘We support a variety of charities every year but now we have decided to channel everything into helping Mia. She has a variety of conditions that means she needs extra support. We want to help an amazing little girl and her equally amazing family, and will do all we can to hit that goal as quickly as possible’.

Highfield has also been raising money to help blind children through VICTA, with a series of events and activities including a Sky Dive planned for July and staff recently completing Virgin Money London Marathon.

For more information on eResponse’s fundraising initiative, go to www.e-responserecruitment.co.uk

Highfield’s marathon challenge for VICTA

Three of Highfield’s staff put on their running shoes and took on one of the world’s toughest challenges for charity this spring – the Virgin Money London Marathon.

Chris Sprenger, Managing Director, Ben Cressey, Director of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeships, and Dominic Binks, Director of Business Development completed the gruelling 26 miles and 385 yards to raise money for Highfield’s chosen charity – Visually Impaired Children Taking Action (VICTA).

Marathon Runners

Chris (left), and Dominic (right).

Held on 26 April 2015, the Virgin Money London Marathon is one of the biggest mass participation sports events in the world. And for Chris and Ben, it was the second time they had completed the marathon for VICTA, having taken part in 2014.

Reform Club

After the marathon – Dominic (left), Chris (centre) and Ben (right).

As well as raising thousands over £3000 for the charity – which works to provide equipment, services and events that help blind and visually impaired children and young people develop socially, emotionally and educationally, as well as offering their parents a vital network of support and information – there were personal bests for the runners.

Chris completed the course in just three hours 29 minutes, with Dominic and Ben coming in at four hours and six minutes and four hours and 28 minutes respectively.


Chris’s Virgin Money London Marathon Medal

To date, Highfield has raised over £13,000 for VICTA. However, the team is not resting on its laurels, and has already signed up for next year’s marathon on 25 April 2016.

Highfield will be holding a number of events through 2015 and 2016 to raise money for VICTA, including a skydive. If you would like to contribute, please click Virgin Money Giving