Staff from Chartwells are signing up to take part in our Starting Blocks Challenge, thinking about the person, place or moment that inspired them to become who they are today and raising funds to support the Trust. Chartwells are a Gold Partner for the Starting Blocks Challenge which asks people to get sponsored to run, walk, swim or ride the distance back to where your story started.

It's been great to see so many people at Chartwells setting up Fundraising pages over on the Starting Blocks website and we can't wait to follow their challenges and activities as they help the Trust support more young people facing disadvantage. Here are just a few of the amazing challenges the team are taking on:

Jackie's Disco Dancing Challenge

My mother always said I had a special talent for dancing. I started stage from the age of five and developed excellent musical rhythm through different genres. I loved and enjoyed dancing so much, it's my way of expressing my happy heart with a big smile and bags of energy. When I was in secondary school I made a decision to stop stage school and focus on my education and future.

I have been working in primary and secondary schools through Chartwells for nearly 16 years, engaging and educating pupils of all ages through good, nutritious, healthy, well balanced school meals and I am so excited to dust off my dancing shoes to take part in the Starting Blocks Challenge.

Starting 7th December I will be disco dancing to my favorite 70s music for 14 hours over seven days which is a total of 840 minutes. As an extra special thank you for your generosity, I will dance the final two hours in full 70s costume on the 20th December where fingers crossed I will have reached my goal.

Emma’s 10k challenge

My Starting Block was just over six years ago when I went to South Africa for three months and stayed in a small town called Clarens. During my stay I saw first-hand the impact that poor nutrition can have on both physical and mental health. I knew from this moment I wanted a job where I could positively impact people’s lives through good food, nutrition and education. This led me to taking a degree in Public Health Nutrition and later resulted in me joining the Nutrition team at Chartwells where I engage with students, schools and parents promoting good health and well-being.

My eye-opening experience in South Africa helped me to determine my passion and shaped my future goals of what I wanted to achieve and therefore on Monday 20th December I will be running 10km to mark the start of my journey which brought me to where I am today. 

Ellie’s 12k row challenge

When I was 12, I learnt about what a carbohydrate was and noticed my lunches were despicable and had been for years. I felt let down and anxious that I had lost opportunities to focus and develop as well as I could have!

I decided that I wanted every child to avoid feeling this way and from then, made academic decisions to make an impact on children’s school meals so that they could have the start they didn’t even know they deserved.

That’s why I’m rowing 12k for my Starting Blocks Challenge.


Laoise’s triathlon challenge

My starting block was Kevin Granta technical graphics teacher and athletics coach I had when I started secondary school. I was not an athlete by anyone’s standards, but I kept asking if athletics training was on and he started coaching. The athletics team in the school was brought back from the dead with a core group of four students. In these first few years I learnt that you don’t give up even when you are at the back of the pack or you foul your jump. The resilience and never give up attitude I learnt from Kevin has stood by me in everything I do and inspires me to challenge myself on a daily basis. My challenge is to complete an Olympic distance triathlon.

We want to say a huge thank you to everyone from Chartwells who has signed up to the Starting Blocks Challenge. If the stories above have inspired you to 'go back to give back' we'd love you to get involved as well and share your story