Over £50,000 raised and a new crèche built in village of Luphisi
Six employees from Ageas (Insurance UK) have recently returned from South Africa after competing in the final and being named joint winners of the 2010 Times Leadership Challenge.

The Ageas Team, named ‘Fortissimos’, took time out from their day jobs to compete in a number of gruelling mental, physical and psychological challenges in remote locations across the UK over the last few months, culminating in a five day stretch of expert team work, collaboration, and emotional discovery in the village of Luphisi.

From over 40 teams at the start of the programme, the ‘Fortissimos’, made up of colleagues from Ageas Insurance Limited, Ageas Insurance Solutions, Fortis Life and RIAS, was one of four teams who made it to the ‘Challenge Africa’ final. The four finalist teams, including innocent and TK Maxx, all joined forces to test their leadership skills to the limit, with the mission of not only raising £50,000 towards building a children’s crèche in Luphisi whilst still in the UK, but then completely decorating, furnishing, and landscaping the area during their time in South Africa.

The ‘Fortissimos’ and innocent’s team, ‘More Successful David Beckhams’ were named as joint winners in the ‘Challenge Africa’ final.

In just five days the Zamokuhle Crèche in Luphisi was completed by the four Times Leadership Challenge teams.

Andrew Berrow, ‘Fortissimos’ team member, comments: “From priming and painting walls, digging vegetable patches, and installing swings, to learning Zulu warrior dances, organising a children’s sports day in the 40 degree heat and planting 400 marula trees, working with the community in Luphisi was an unforgettable experience and will have a lifelong impact on all of us, in both our professional and personal lives. There were certainly a few tearful goodbyes when the time came to leave our new friends, and seeing the difference we all made by working together was invaluable.”

Lyn Nicholls, HR Director Ageas UK, commented: “What our Ageas colleagues achieved in such a short space of time is quite phenomenal. Their clear purpose, belief in ability to deliver and the willingness to adapt to ever changing situations ensured that ‘Fortissimos’ made a sustainable difference to the community of Luphisi. From a leadership perspective, the team was able to apply their work experiences to a very different set of circumstances and get the job done. Everyone at Ageas is extremely proud of their achievements.”