Employees at Prestige Telecom Group in Gosport take on ration challenge to raise cash for refugees

IMAGINE living off just rice, flour, chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans and tinned sardines.

Monday, 5th October 2020, 4:44 pm
Prestige Telecom Group. Pictured is: (l-r) Elliot Micallef, head of brand, Chris Mackett, head of customer services, Sean Rhodes, managing director, Andrew Rhodes, sales director and Kieran Searle, head of sales.

No coffee, tea or snacks. And especially no sweets, chocolate or takeaways.

That’s exactly what employees at a Gosport firm did to raise cash and awareness for refugees.

Six senior managers and directors of the Prestige Telecom Group, in Heritage Business Park, Heritage Way, took part in the Ration Challenge organised by charity Concern Worldwide.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Prestige Telecom Group Pictured is: (back l-r) Elliott Micallef, head of brand and Kieran Searle, head of sales with (front l-r) Sean Rhodes, managing director, Chris Mackett, head of customer services and Andrew Rodgers, sales director.

One of those taking part was 26-year-old head of brand and image, Elliot Micallef.

He said: ‘The idea was to live on the same rations that a Syrian refugee living in a camp in Jordan would be living on for a week to raise money for emergency food, hygiene kits and lifesaving support for those who have been hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic.

‘The six of us thought it was our duty to take part.

‘It was a way to test our bodies and a fantastic cause to raise as much money as possible for those less fortunate.’

Prestige Telecom Group Pictured is: (l-r) Andrew Rodgers, sales director, and Chris Mackett, head of customer services.

This year’s Ration Challenge raised more than £1.5m overall, with Prestige Telecom Group raising an incredible £1,500.

Read More

Read More
How to make sure you never miss our Facebook posts

During the week, they were allowed 1.92kg of rice, 400g flour, 170g dried lentils, 85g dried chickpeas, 120g tinned sardines, 400g kidney beans and 330ml vegetable oil.

Elliot said: ‘We were eating rice, rice, rice and more rice. Some of the people had a hidden talent in the kitchen so they could rustle up flatbreads with the flour and hummus with the chickpeas and lentil soup but for

most of us we had a simple bowl of rice with a spice.

‘After we received our ration challenges on day one, we realised how tough it must be for refugees across the world. We are privileged in the UK to have the amenities that we have to offer’.

‘We were extremely glad that it was only for a week and not for the rest of our lives like refugees globally.

‘No coffee, tea or snacks was difficult. It was extremely difficult. It was easy for the first three days, but after the fifth day the fatigue and hunger really kicked in. The last few days were the toughest, we were working Monday to

Friday so the Saturday (the last day of the challenge) when we were at home was the toughest day.’

Elliot said the challenge had not only raised vital funds for the charity, it had provided an opportunity to talk to people about the situation - and given all those participating an insight into the plight faced by refugees.

He said: ‘To think of how little, they have in comparison to what everyone eats was a real eye opener. Just finding out what conditions these refugees are living in would make any normal person more passionate about helping them.'

For more go to concern.org.uk

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

Thank you for reading this story.

Every subscription helps us continue providing trusted, local journalism and campaign on your behalf for our city.