The Bouygues Director's Dinner

Bouygues have ordered 20 books for their high profile guests attending their annual Director's Dinner, being held at the Gherkin this year. They ordered them months ago so why I am on a train to collect the books two hours before the event?... 

All copies of the first edition had been sold out when they ordered but their  date fitted in with the arrival of the second edition so that worked. All was going to plan until some extra post-production work that had been done on one of the panoramic photographs meant the books wouldn't be bound in time. It's ok, issues arise and I know it's my job to find a solution -  I arrange to have 20 copies sent out to a specialist binders and sent to the Gherkin by 5pm.  So far, so good.  Copies were bound by 2.45pm but the courier tells me the van can't guarantee delivery until 6 or 7pm (haven't they heard of motorbikes I want to scream - I ask nicely instead, apparently they haven't). I work out I can go to Essex to collect them myself if the printer can bring them to the station. He can. I go. I arrive back at the Gherkin 15 minutes before the host arrives to set up. (So this is what they mean when they say an entrepreneur will do anything to make things work). 

The Bouygues Directors and an array of high profile guests arrive including the lovely Sara Fox, of building the Gherkin fame (yes, actually - on time and under budget). I chat to everyone over drinks, they go into dinner - the books go down well, the evening is a huge success. Job done.

The 2014 Gherkin Challenge - Registration is Open

Registration for the 2014 Gherkin Challenge for the NSPCC is open and we already have 120 participants registered. I am about to mail all of my contacts (nearest and dearest through to everyone I have ever met) to help get this year's event to be simply the best ever.

It's happening on Sunday 7th September and you can either run or walk up the stairs to the top of the Gherkin. You can be as energetic or as relaxed as you like, some people like to race up and others like to take their time and rest at each floor. (I've done it twice before and walked up both times). This year when you reach the 40th floor you can join the NSPCC Celebration Party (drinks, snacks, entertainment) and you can enjoy the Gherkin's amazing 360˚ views across London. It will be a great day, part of the 10th anniversary celebrations of an iconic building and every single step up you take will make such a big difference to vulnerable children!

Registration is now open. We are asking for a registration fee of £20 for individuals or £70 for a team of four, with a Buy-One-Get-One-Free offer available until April 17th (Simply enter the promotional code BOGOF14 when selecting tickets).  All we ask is that each participant raises a minimum of £200.  Children over 8 years of age and accompanied by an adult can take part for just £10. There is also the option of coming up to the top via the lift. A lift pass is £60 or £100 for 2, and children under 14 come with you free of charge and all can join the party! 

Most important of all is that reaching your target of £200 will mean you raise £5 for each of the Gherkin’s 40 floors and fund 50 children’s calls to ChildLine being answered. I know that fact will keep me walking up to the top (and trying to raise more to have more calls answered!) More good news is that every participant will receive an exclusive edition of ‘360° at the Gherkin’ (by yours truly) – we are adding information about the vital NSPCC services and children in London that your fundraising will help support into a special ‘10th Anniversary of the Gherkin’ edition of the book. I have also organised two signed prints of the Gherkin Guide signed by Norman Foster, and these will be presented at the Gherkin* to the higher fund raising individual and team. (*In a special presentation in October 2014).

For more information and to register your interest in this event please visit the NSPCC Gherkin Challenge website or contact  Adam Lewis at the NSPCC on 020 7825 1389 or come back to me and I will answer any questions you have!

I do hope I see you on the day, whether it’s just you or you and a team – it will be fantastic! Every step we take up will make such a difference to vulnerable children! Tee xxx

Tee Dobinson

London Business Board for the NSPCC 

2013 Gherkin Challenge participants

2013 Gherkin Challenge participants

Me in 2012 - having a rest at floor 27 (it really is ok to take it steadily!) 

Me in 2012 - having a rest at floor 27 (it really is ok to take it steadily!)