Why I'm all in

on Charity Challenges

By Lucy Turney

Meet Lucy, Senior Fundraising Coordinator at Inspired Adventures. In March 2024, she joined a team of OzHarvest supporters on a multi-day trek in Aotearoa New Zealand. Along the way, the team raised $71,000 to reduce food waste and food insecurity.

In March, I embarked on a journey that not only challenged me physically but also profoundly impacted my perspective on life. As a Fundraising Coordinator at Inspired Adventures, I spend my days immersed in conversations with passionate fundraisers preparing for their upcoming adventures. When I was asked if I wanted to join one of our upcoming adventures, little did I know I would be taking on an experience that would leave a lasting mark on me.

The opportunity to join a team of 14 OzHarvest supporters on a trek through New Zealand's Southern Alps was a dream come true. Having previously lived in Canada, where my love for snowy landscapes blossomed, the prospect of exploring the rugged terrain of Aotearoa New Zealand was irresistible. Beyond the excitement of adventure, I was eager to meet the individuals I had been supporting over the phone for months. The chance to forge real connections and hear their stories face-to-face added a deeply personal dimension to the experience.

What made the adventure more exciting was joining OzHarvest supporters on the trail. OzHarvest is Australia’s leading food rescue organisation. They collect high-quality food items from organisations that would otherwise throw them out and provide them to people in need. I was familiar with OzHarvest before my adventure, but having their Founder Ronni Kahn join the team gave us all a real insider look at this incredible charity. As someone who is passionate about minimising food waste and creativity in the kitchen, I was inspired by Ronni's commitment to these values. 


Our adventure began with a ‘Cooking for a Cause’ initiative, transforming surplus ingredients into gourmet meals for those in need. Together, we took food that was destined for waste and cooked a hearty, home-cooked meal that was distributed through Christchurch City Mission. Not only was it a team bonding experience, but it was also a powerful reminder of the impact that collective action can have in addressing social issues, and in the simplicity and power of the mission of OzHarvest and their sister charity KiwiHarvest.

After team meeting and bonding, we set off to begin our trekking adventure in the Southern Alps. Despite New Zealand's reputation for unpredictable weather, we were blessed with clear blue skies and breathtaking views throughout our journey. Each day presented new challenges, from steep ascents to rocky mountainous terrain, but the camaraderie among our team never dropped. Throughout our journey, I was struck by the diversity of landscapes and the wonderful experiences we encountered surrounded by nature. From lush valleys to towering peaks, each step revealed a new facet of New Zealand's natural beauty. Guided by our knowledgeable and passionate guides, we gained a deeper appreciation for the country's rich cultural heritage and beautiful environment.


The highlight of my adventure was undoubtedly the ascent to Mueller Hut. With 2,200 stairs and a demanding rock scramble, it was by far the most physically demanding day of trekking. As we reached the summit and beheld the amazing panorama before us, the sense of accomplishment was unparalleled, I felt on top of the world!

But perhaps the greatest aspect of this adventure was the connections we formed over the 6 days of trekking. Despite our diverse backgrounds and professions, we were united by a shared passion for making a difference. Ronni's presence served as a constant reminder of the power of purpose-driven leadership and the importance of living our values authentically. With every $1 raised equaling two meals saved from waste and distributed, the $71,000 the team raised for the adventure will make such an impact!

As we descended from the mountains and bid farewell to our fellow trekkers, I couldn't help but feel a deep sense of gratitude. In the end, this adventure was about more than just reaching summits; it was about embracing challenges, forging connections, and making a meaningful impact in the world. And for that, I will always be grateful to OzHarvest, Inspired Adventures and the incredible individuals who shared this journey with me. One thing is for sure - New Zealand, I’ll be back!


Check out our upcoming adventures and sign up today!

We’re a certified B Corp, committed to using business as a force for good.