After working from home for the majority of 2020, most of us had to settle for virtual catch ups with colleagues rather than a quick chat in the kitchen or going on a walk at lunch. So, keeping workplace morale high in 2021 is more important than ever, and The May 50K is the perfect opportunity to look after your workplace’s health and wellbeing.
Long-time Kiss Goodbye to MS supporter, Kate Roberts, saw The May 50K 2020 as an invaluable opportunity to keep her workplace, nib health funds, connected despite being physically separated – and they plan to do it all again this year!
The May 50K is a virtual fitness challenge encouraging Australians to run or walk 50 kilometres throughout May to raise funds for life-changing MS research. The challenge has quickly become one of the largest virtual fitness and workplace engagement challenges in Australia, raising over $8.7 million for MS research in less than two years.
What makes it so amazing? The May 50K can be completed anywhere in Australia and provides a unique opportunity for workplaces to prioritise physical and mental health whilst enjoying some friendly competition. It was this aspect that motivated Kate to get her workplace involved.
Kate has been living with MS for almost 8 years, so MS research is a cause close to her heart. Kate was our top individual fundraiser in The May 50K 2019, raising $21,317.52 for life-changing MS research! In 2020 she was keen to participate again and boost her fundraising efforts, so she invited her work colleagues to take on the challenge too. We are so grateful they did! ‘Team nib’ collectively raised an outstanding $32,557.55 for MS research! We spoke to Kate to find out how they did it.
How did you get the nib health funds team involved initially?
Once I signed up to the challenge, I sent a personal email out to the team explaining why I decided to participate in The May 50K. nib health funds has always been very supportive of my MS since I started, and they are also very proactive in being a part of the community. So, when The May 50K was in my sights it was a perfect match!
What approach did you take when signing up your colleagues?
I put together a summary of my MS experience and shared it via the company intranet. I also created videos leading up to the challenge, encouraging my colleagues from all over Australia and New Zealand to participate and/or donate to MS research. The Community Engagement department also got involved to make sure everything ran smoothly and get our senior management registered! Not long after this, the nib foundation got wind of the challenge and agreed to match dollar for dollar to encourage more employees to sign up. This made a huge impact on our fundraising and motivated us to push ourselves.
What advice do you have for people wanting to get their workplaces involved?
Make it personal! Explain how the donations and the awareness that The May 50K raises is for life-changing research. MS researchers believe that with sufficient funding, we are just 10 years away from stopping and reversing MS! It’s also a fun team building exercise, as you can meet new people and it’s a great way to get active!
We couldn’t achieve a future free from MS without the incredible support of workplaces like nib health funds. Their determination, perseverance and collective efforts are changing the future lives of people living with MS like Kate.
Together we will leave MS where it belongs, behind us.