BNI is a community of passionate leaders; of that, there is no doubt. That said, there are certain stories that truly show how connected our members are, and how much they internalize a positive and helpful attitude.
Recently, we had the pleasure of speaking with Steve Nash of BNI Victory in Kent, UK. The story he shared is astounding.
Last November, Steve decided to undertake a massive physical challenge for his charity, Stacey’s Smiles. First, compete in the London Marathon; followed, 3 days later, by a 925 mile walk from John O Groats to Lands End, the northernmost and southernmost points of the UK mainland, respectively. Completed over a 31-day period, that equals 1,953,600 steps, 310 hours, 18,600 minutes, 1,116,000 seconds of walking.
And while the physical toll is daunting in and of itself, not to mention courageous, his unconventional strategy for completing this challenge is what caught our attention. Steve decided to utilize his BNI support network throughout the UK in order to help him along the way. Through conversations with the Co-National Director for Ireland and the UK, Tim Cook, Steve was introduced to numerous Directors, Director Consultants and Chapter Presidents who helped him compile a plan.
Subsequently, over the 31-day trek, Steve was supported so thoroughly it exceeded all preconceived expectations. During the 31-day trek, Steve was assisted in the following ways:
- Over £11,500 was raised for Stacey’s Smiles – Over 2/3 raised by BNI Members through their own fundraising, sharing, individual donations.
- BNI Chapters shared Steve’s posts on their social media pages.
- Members helped transport equipment from location to location.
- Members would walk with Steve for long distances.
- A BNI member sponsored over 30 T-shirts for Steve, with the BNI logo prominently shown.
- A member introduced Steve to a Property Developer who paid for all of his accommodations.
- A member, who is a baker, gave Steve 6 boxes of fudge and had cupcakes waiting at one of his accommodations.
- One BNI member in Inverness met Steve at a hotel and presented him with a cheque for £250.
- Six members provided Steve with professional massages at different destinations.
- Members would often meet him and offer to buy lunch and/or dinner.
- To support Steve, 10 BNI Chapters recorded a personalized video of the song by the Proclaimers “500 miles” and posted on social media. Fantastic promotion for BNI!
- BNI Photographers met Steve along the route so that he had professional photos that could be used on social media.
- Executive Directors in Inverness, Glasgow, Carlisle, Shropshire, Avonmouth, Cornwall, Devon – from one end of the country to the other, drove alongside Steve, rallied the chapters, and ensured he was looked after at-all-times.
Throughout this trek, Steve and all members involved in his journey, demonstrated each of BNI’s Core Values, from Givers Gain to Building Relationships. Not to mention, the entire journey was in support of charitable initiatives.
Steve even advised ED’s on how they can position charities successfully in chapters. Which is vital because charitable participation is a 2-way-street. Charities are very well connected, have a massive support base, and can be a great stepping stone and conduit between Business and Communities.
Causes such as Steve’s set the benchmark on just how advantageous and powerful it is to have a strong support network. BNI UK rose to the challenge and should be commended for showing how positive an impact BNI can have across not just a country, but the entire organization.
If you would like to support Stacy’s Smiles, please visit www.staceyssmiles.org.uk