COINS Spotlight: Duane Wingell

COINS employee, Duane Wingell talks about participating in Habitat's Hope Challenge earlier this year and what his team gained from it.

Predominantly launched as a fundraising event, the Hope Challenge quickly built a reputation as an excellent team building weekend as well as a chance to test yourself both physically and mentally. Habitat’s vision is a world where everyone has a safe and decent place to live and a world where housing poverty and homelessness are eliminated so the weekend has this concept at its core. Habitat is a long-term partner of COINS Foundation and we were delighted that COINS employees were able to learn more about Habitat and contribute to their goal.

Duane Wingell - Homebuilding Managing Consultant

 

What was the motivation for getting involved with the Hope Challenge? For me there were two main goals: firstly, I wanted to strengthen our team bond outside of our usual day to day jobs and secondly, I wanted to make a difference to people that may not have as many opportunities as I have.

 

What did it involve? The challenge itself took place from Friday to Sunday with our first task being to build the shelter that we would stay in for the weekend. After this we had a number of challenges that tested both our physical and mental skills as a team and definitely provided lots of opportunities to work together. There was also a lot of planning and preparation involved so we were already collaborating our ideas weeks before the Hope Challenge itself.

 

Were there any challenges you faced and how did you overcome them?  There were many challenges along the way, ensuring we got the right materials, making sure we had a plan of action about what we wanted to achieve and how we could do this with the resources available. The best way we found to overcome these were to play to our strengths, as a team we’re strong and as we’re all different it allows us to bring something unique to make us even better. One of the big challenges we faced came before the event itself, which was the fundraising element, something that was relatively new to all of us. We had to get a bit creative beyond asking friends and family to donate and I looked at how I could use some of my skills to raise the funds. An idea I came up with was to give up some of my annual leave days to work with our COINS customers and contributed the proceeds to our joint fundraising pot, which helped us to exceed our fundraising goal.

 

What will you take from this experience? One of the main things that I would take from the experience is that we do not need to be consciously making a difference every second of everyday, but the moments that we do can have a big impact to individuals that have less opportunities than us. You can only achieve so much individually but as a team we can collaborate our efforts to make a real difference to the world around us and as long as we keep trying to make better versions of ourselves, the world around us will change too.