Story of a charity challenge, endurance and passion

Story of a charity challenge, endurance and passion

The Ben Nevis Challenge Countdown

Lightbulb moment

Jake Best is asked to run a challenge for the opening of a new ESA Lab -an artificial slope -which if run up and down 337 times, is the equivalent of running Ben Nevis. Jake is always up for a challenge but wants to make it even harder. Why not run it with a computer on his back to raise money for computers in schools? 

He contacts Leon Lindblad at Refurbo. Leon loves the idea – he realizes it could be an ongoing charity initiative and the partnership is born.

The Team

Digital Inclusion for Families (DIFF) Make a DIFFerence.

What next? Create a charity initiative to raise the money to supply computers to local primary schools who need them.

    Learning Foundation

The Refurbo marketing team get to work contacting (DAFA Digital access for All) and the Learning Foundation. 

Joy Blake, a retired teacher, joins in to liaise with local schools and discover what help needed. 

Refurbo engineers are also co-opted to choose and adapt the computer which Jake will carry for the challenge.

Problem solving

What computer to use and what problems will have to be overcome? Computer model chosen:

Dell T1700 PC

Height 14.17 inches / 36 cm 

Width 6.98 inch / 17.50 cm 

Depth 17.12 inch / 43.50 cm 

Meetings are held and suggestions made for weighting, padding and carrying the computer. Jake and the team decide that a backpack solution will be the most suitable for the challenge. 

The next step is padding to eliminate soreness and rubbing during the run. Although Jake says, ‘It is meant to be challenging and uncomfortable to represent the challenging and uncomfortable situations many find themselves in,’ all agree that some form of padding will be necessary. Weighted bags and discs are added to create more weight and an LED light to flash the Refurbo logo. Reinforcing the screws and additional tests are needed to ensure the straps and fittings can sustain the 15kg weight.

Testing and training

Jake’s concerns are that of weight distribution, and over -compensation, on the areas that would take the main impact during the run. He has been training with a gym bag and is eager to start with the real thing. On 17th March he completes 9 miles with the PC and all fittings. He reports, ‘Physically I felt good and all additional fittings were comfortable with no rubbing or sore spots anywhere.’ With adjustable straps, correct balance and two panels of padding, most of the bounce factor on the incline and decline is eliminated. 

Great result for the Refurbo team and Jake who is training with his arm in a sling due to a hand operation. Jake continues his 6 days of training a week.

The Children

The team contact St Clement’s and St John’s Infant School in Boscombe. Claire Arnell, the IT Lead Teacher, is very excited about the offer; she explains the needs of the pupils and how they struggle with the equipment they have. Much of the equipment is not working and, with classes of 30, there are just not enough devices for every child. 

St Clement’s takes in children from Reception to Year 2, the early years. Along with free school meals and free wi-fi access, tech for schools is part of the educational campaign ‘No Child Left behind.’ 

Bridging the digital divide is also one of Refurbo’s goals and Leon sets a target to offer top quality refurbished laptops to as many classes as possible. The challenge is real and getting closer. 

The team are inspired by the children's needs. The countdown is on.

If you would like to donate, please go to the Refurbo Virgin Money Giving page which we set up to support the DAFA charity: they have given over 2 million families access to devices and a decent connection.

Apr 01, 2021 Joy Blake

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