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DLA Piper’s fundraising trek for refugees

Employees from DLA Piper trekked Tasmania’s Three Capes to raise money for programs empowering vulnerable refugees to address environmental challenges.

Twenty-eight employees from DLA Piper Australia and New Zealand did a 48-kilometre trek during May, fundraising to help refugees and host communities tackle environmental crises. We spoke to Sarah McKenzie, Real Estate Solicitor at DLA Piper, about their creative fundraising ideas and experience training for the hike.

What attracted DLA Piper to support this cause?

DLA Piper is committed to protecting the rights of refugees, displaced people and those who are stateless. We also have a particular focus on supporting vulnerable groups including women, children and LGBTQI+ people.

Over the past 10 years, we’ve worked to address the root cause and consequences of displacement by providing legal recognition for those forced to flee and supporting their inclusion in host communities. We’re also a founding funder of the Refugee Environmental Protection Fund, reflecting our views on the need to support long-term rehabilitation, reconstruction and risk reduction for refugee settlements and host communities.

Why did your team choose hiking as the main fundraising activity?

DLA Piper has hosted a variety of events such as hikes and bike rides to raise funds. These events allow a wide range of staff to get involved in popular activities and are great team bonding opportunities.

What was your favourite thing about training for the hike? Has it been difficult?

I personally enjoyed getting my friends and family involved in my training and getting to share this experience with them, even though they didn't go on the trek. I did coastal hikes with my friends on weekends away and did a 10km hike with my mum for Mother’s Day as part of my trek training. This  made it more enjoyable as it allowed me extra quality time with the people I love. Although the distance covered on the trek was difficult, I was surrounded by some of my biggest cheerleaders while training for it, which made it an incredibly fun experience.

What other activities have your teams done to help raise funds?

We have seen a variety of interesting activities take place to raise funds. Office-run activities have included bake sales, auctions and a trivia night. Individuals have also organised events such as a local sausage sizzle, lawn bowls and market stalls. They’ve also offered services such as babysitting and gardening to help fundraise.

Can you share any tips for other corporates looking to fundraise for refugees?

Start planning early to give participants enough time to fundraise. Encourage all levels of staff to take part in the experience to promote team bonding and enable participants to organise fundraising activities. Provide ongoing incentives and acknowledgments when staff hit fundraising milestones. Strategically use internal communications to promote all events and initiatives.

Are you interested in fundraising for UNHCR? Please click here for more information and helpful tips or contact us at [email protected].