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Stop Hunger Awards

Melissa's 5-star success

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Last year, thousands of you got involved with Stop Hunger fundraising activities. The organisation of these events takes innovation, commitment and collaboration to make a simple idea a huge success.

2020 has seen fundraising change dramatically with virtual events like The BIG Sodexo Quiz taking precedence over more traditional forms of raising money. However, outdoor events are proving to be more popular than ever with hundreds of you continuing to run, cycle and even swim over the past few months to raise money for charities and organisations.

As we look to the future of fundraising, it’s a good opportunity for us to review some Stop Hunger successes like last Christmas’s Strictly Come Prancing 5-kilometre run event. The activity started life on the Diageo contract and was brought to life by Stop Hunger Award winner Melissa Jordan.

Customer Experience Manager Melissa won her award for Most innovative fundraising idea. In her day-to-day role, she supports the Diageo contract's key projects, focussing specifically on soft FM services. In her role she has also developed a customer experience programme and runs a customer satisfaction survey twice a year to support the contract team's ongoing developments.

As someone who works flexibly across a large team, Melissa isn’t shy to collaborate with others on her innovative ideas. To help her reach a wider audience beyond just her account, she contacted Brand & Communications to support with promoting the Strictly Come Prancing event dates. With their support, Melissa was able to engage a wider audience than expected and 5-kilometre runs took place across the UK and Ireland:

“We reached a number of people via social media and internal channels using some resources created by Brand & Communications. In the end a total of 15 sites took part to raise more than £3,700. We were even featured in some local news!”

Melissa knew that the best way to engage more than just runners was to open the event to all. Her solution was to have multiple prize categories as incentives for those who don’t normally run to get involved:

“What made Strictly Come Prancing different was because we made it accessible for all of our teams and clients, widening it out to the rest of Sodexo UK & Ireland. To get everyone involved we included prizes for best dressed, best time and most innovative fundraising which really helped. The 5-kilometres could also be completed in any way – we didn’t want anyone to feel like they were being left out.”

Since her Stop Hunger success with Strictly Come Prancing, Melissa has continued to play an instrumental part of other regional fundraising events like The BIG Sodexo Quiz, although she also recognises the challenges that recent events have brought to fundraising:

“Things have changed which makes cash collections very difficult and, in some cases, impossible, so thinking outside the box and looking for new ways to fundraise is the future. We’re already planning as a team some amazing things to come out over the next few months including a possible third ‘spooktacular’ virtual quiz and another Christmas 5-kilometre activity – we’re thinking Elf & Safety for 2020, so watch this space!”

Melissa understands why people may feel scared to get involved with fundraising, but she encourages everyone to still take part where it is safe to do so:

“If you’re understandably feeling cautious about handling cash, you can always create virtual and online events using Sponsor Me and other sites for your digital cash collection. A great example of this is the Stop Hunger emergency relief fund set up to support FareShare and The Trussell Trust – I would ask everyone to donate where you can to fund their important work.

Melissa Jordan with her Stop Hunger Award trophy

"There are other ways you can get involved to support food charities, like donating at supermarkets; most have trolley collections at the doors, and these are usually for The Trussel Trust, FareShare or another local food organisation.”

Melissa has a clear enthusiasm for working innovatively and collaboratively, and even humbly puts her award win down to the effort and support of others both in the Diageo contract and across the region:

“Hearing about my Stop Hunger Award win made me very happy and proud, but also a little surprised as so many amazing people in Sodexo work so hard to support the Foundation. It means a lot as we work together in Diageo to support Stop Hunger, so it is thanks to everyone on the contract and beyond for helping us to hit such a huge total and in turn me winning this award!”

Thank you for sharing your insight with us Melissa, and congratulations once again for your award win.

Melissa’s Stop Hunger story proves that through innovation and collaboration, fundraising can continue to be a success even through the hardest of times. After a record-breaking 2019, we want to see you showing your heart and taking part.


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