From the Nominator
"Durham has always maintained a healthy relationship with its alumni community, but the Feisty 50 challenge in the 2021 lockdown took this healthy relationship to a new level. Alumni and Supporter Engagement Manager Lindsay Young is passionate about the health and well-being of our valued global alumni community. When the start of 2021 was looking bleak, she devised an initiative to spread her belief in exercise as a source of motivation and togetherness. A simple and fun idea combined with great planning and new technologies, creating something extremely positive in a period that was tough for our alumni community.
The challenge ran from January 11-February 19--the first 50 days of 2021. Fitness was measured at the outset and finish to track success. The programme was communicated via groups on social media. Twice-weekly challenges helped maintain impetus, and the ongoing relationships between alumni were clear as they created teams, often in multiple countries, to compete against one another.
The impact is multi-dimensional. The physical health benefits are clear from the statistics, but another clear benefit was helping support the mental well-being of the group through increased engagement with the team and participant feedback. The learnings have been invaluable to feed into our engagement planning. From an initiative borne from a difficult set of circumstances, new and more innovative ways of working are being incorporated into the alumni engagement plan to include a more holistic approach to the relationship with our community."
From the Judges
The Feisty 50 Fitness Challenge helped Durham alumni face a global issue during the pandemic—how to stay active when day-to-day schedules are dramatically altered. We appreciate their approach to the health and wellness of alumni. The challenge was perfect for this time, yet can still be utilized in the future. Through this initiative, Durham University connected with two audiences that can be hard to reach: young alumni and “very low” engaged alumni. They saw measurable results in engagement.