The Gherkin Challenge - The Results

The Gherkin Challenge Medal, awarded to everyone who reached the top.

The Gherkin Challenge Medal, awarded to everyone who reached the top.

A fantastic postscript to this amazing event. 

The 2014 Gherkin Challenge has raised £216,00 for the NSPCC - this is a 171% increase on the funds raised last year - we increased the participants by almost double to 974 people registering and everyone raised more per head this year too - AMAZING JOB everyone. My son Ben and I raised £989 between us, a big THANKS to everyone who sponsored us too. 

The two framed prints of The Gherkin Guide signed by NORMAN FOSTER were won by top fundraisers - the Individual Prize by Barinder Randhawa who smashed her personal target by raising £1,688.39 and the Team Prize by the Dinosaur Supervision Advisory Board, whose four members raised an incredible £3,025. I will be presenting these prizes to them at a special event at the Gherkin in January. 

I would like to thank Francesca Valli the Chair of the Gherkin Challenge Steering Committee and my fellow board members of the City of London Business Board for the NSPCC - Neil Mirchandani (Chair), Chris Day, Mark Luboff, Francesca Valli and Sara-Jane Winter. It has been a pleasure working with you all on this event, along with Adam Lewis from the NSPCC Event Team. We really made something brilliant happen - roll on 2015!



@LewisHamilton joining the @NSPCC #GherkinChallenge?

Lewis Hamilton loves the Gherkin. We know this because he told the @EveningStandard it was the building he'd like to be locked in overnight "It looks cool and I'd like to hang out in the bar at the top.' So for months every Gherkin Challenge planning meeting has started with Francesca Valli, the committee Chair and I, suggesting we ask Lewis Hamilton to take part this year. He'd be great, we say - he's a huge star, we say - the most talented driver of his generation and a phenomenal athlete. Can you imagine how he'd speed up the stairs, we say 'Hamilton expertly avoids the wall as he overtakes 27 people on the inside...' Can you imagine what an effect he'd have on the participants, we say 'Lewis is cheered by all as he dominates the stairwell on his way to the top...' Maybe he'd do it in the fastest time ever we say. 'Lewis Hamilton accelerates to a record breaking finish leaving the rest of the field 10 floors behind!' Just imagine...we said (at every meeting), it would be amazing!

So, you say, is he coming? Well, the NSPCC did speak to #TEAMLH last month - He'd have loved to, they tell us, But he'll be a little busy at the Italian Grand Prix that weekend... Maybe next year... Ok, so this could be great news for 2015!

Meanwhile this year, while Lewis is busy winning the Italian Grand Prix on September 7th, almost 1,000 of you will be doing something amazing too by taking part in the 2014 Gherkin Challenge for the NSPCC.  If you need a little motivation just imagine drinking champagne with Lewis Hamilton in the bar at the top of the building and you'll find yourself racing up the steps! (Maybe I can put a smiling picture of him up to welcome you and make Francesca and I feel better - what do you think #TEAMLH?)

And if you're not taking part why not sign up for one of the few remaining places and join this year's record number of people running or walking up the steps of the Gherkin for the NSPCC? (You can even get a champagne lift pass and bypass the stairs). Winners medals for all, as every step up this extraordinary building makes a difference for vulnerable children. It would be good to make it 1,000 people taking part - only 29 places left.... Registration closes Sept 3rd.

Or, if you can't make it and want to make a difference to children, you could sponsor my son and I to climb the steps on your behalf.

PS - Message for #TEAMLH @LewisHamilton and the team are always welcome as my guests at the top of the Gherkin! @TeeDobinson #GherkinGuru


The NSPCC Gala Opera

NSPCC Gala Performance of '  La Fanciulla del West'

NSPCC Gala Performance of 'La Fanciulla del West'











Francesca Valli, who like me is a member of the City of London Business Board for the NSPCC (well not like me as she has been on it for years and is the co-founder of the Gherkin Challenge, I only joined at the end of 2013).

Anyway, the wonderful Francesca has invited me to the NSPCC Gala Performance of Puccini's opera 'La Fanciulla del West' at Holland Park this evening, as her guest to thank me for my work on this year's Gherkin Challenge steering committee. I am delighted, both with the sentiment and the opportunity to spend time with Francesca at an event in such beautiful surroundings.

We have an absolutely wonderful time! Thanks Francesca. 

The Gherkin Challenge - High Ambitions...


Signs ups are doing well, the Steering Committee have set an aim for 600 sign ups which is an increase on previous year's attendance based on the enthusiasm and expertise behind this year's event.  (I've worked out the building's capacity for the event and am encouraging them to go for 900+, at the moment everyone is putting that down to my natural exuberance - let's see what happens.... ) 

14th March - 78 people signed up

28th March - 120 people signed up

11th April - 228 people signed up

 25th April - 287 people signed up 

Definitely watch what happens...

Sign up yourself at