Published 28 April 2021
A desperate scramble saw a determined team of graduates and apprentices from DE&S raise £400 in the final 12 hours of a charity challenge to hit their £10,000 target.

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The frenetic finale saw Team DEStinct, schmooze friends, family and colleagues to help them reach the impressive milestone as part of the Prince’s Trust Million Maker’s Challenge.

Since 2008 more than 640 teams have taken on the challenge and collectively raised an incredible £15 million to support young people across the UK.

Team DEStinct were praised by organisers of the award-winning challenge who said the coronavirus pandemic made this year the toughest challenge since the entrepreneurial competition began.

And their efforts were acknowledged at the Million Maker’s National Final where they received the Dream Team Award for overcoming challenges and demonstrating collective team resilience.

Sinead Ward, of the Prince’s Trust, said:

“Team DEStinct really were a dream team in what has probably been the most difficult year of Million Makers yet.

“The team demonstrated unbelievable commitment to the challenge and remained motivated despite all of the hurdles – raising an incredible total in the process.

“In a year with unprecedented challenges and when young people have needed support more than ever, the team set the standard for future Public Sector teams and made their mark on the competition.”

The 15-strong team, comprising graduates and apprentices from across the business, had just seven months to raise the money and were competing against 26 teams from across the UK.

They were driven by the knowledge that the coronavirus pandemic has left young people in freefall all over the UK.

With traditional methods hampered by the pandemic, the team kickstarted fundraising in August, with team members pushing themselves physically and artistically to raise money.

Highlights included 10km runs, triathlon style challenges, a 24-hour hobbython and a series of raffles as well as the Lapland Challenge – where teams need to equivalent distance from Bristol to Lapland walking, running or cycling which saw over 5,000km covered and £3,000 raised.

The team’s mentor, Scott Murray, DE&S Head of HR Operations, said:

“I am hugely proud of what the team has achieved. They have shown passion; resilience and sheer determination to reach the £10,000 target.

“They have all developed key skills in teamwork; leadership; project management; financial controls and public speaking but, perhaps more importantly, they have developed lasting friendships and networks giving them insights across functions and DE&S.

“I know they were committed to raising money for the outstanding work undertaken by the Prince’s Trust and should be incredibly proud that they have set the gold standard for public sector teams in this prestigious challenge.”

Team DEStinct’s chairman Alex Setchell added:

“The last year has been a challenge for so many, and many young people have suffered from job loss, loneliness and mental health issues. It was important we achieved the best result possible so the charity can continue its great work.”

The Prince’s Trust supports young people across the UK to build the confidence and skills they need to live, learn and earn. Since 1976, The Prince’s Trust has helped more than one million young people aged 11-30 to transform their lives and their mission is to support one million more young people into work, education and training over the next 10 years.