St Nicholas Hospice Care’s I’m a CEO . . . Get Me Out of Here! raises £20,000

Business bosses stepped out of the boardroom and into a world of creepy crawlies and stomach churning snacks to raise £20,000 for a local hospice.

The intrepid fundraisers, who all hold key positions at businesses in West Suffolk and Thetford, took up the gauntlet last Friday (October 27) when they took part in St Nicholas Hospice Care’s I’m a CEO . . . Get Me Out of Here!

This is the third time the hospice has held the gruesome day of challenges with this year’s fun taking place at Nowton Park, Bury St Edmunds.

It saw 12 business savvy contestants (Andrew Speed, Clare Friel, Colin Makin, James Fisher, John Dugmore, Karen Holmes, Laraine Moody, Nick Smith, Phil Smith, Rachel Spencer, Simon Spence and John Rushman) tackle a range of bush-craft themed trials, including building a shelter, starting a camp fire and chopping logs.

Other challenges the group had to face included guess the animal test as well as a specially prepared meal of four grim delicacies.

Each participant was asked to raise £1,000 to take part; however the team’s fundraising efforts are expected to have raised around £20,000.

It was a close fought competition but Andrew Speed, managing director of St Edmundsbury Financial Services, as well as chairman of Bury Town Council, was crowned overall winner and ‘King of the Jungle’ at the end of the day.

Andrew said: “I certainly didn’t expect to win. As a team everyone has done brilliantly. Everyone has thrown themselves into the challenges and we have had fun.

“It hasn’t always been easy, but I think everyone would agree to have raised almost £20,000 for the hospice is what it has all really been about.

“If I had to pick I think I would be most proud of my shelter building.”

Andrew was presented with his crown and scepter by the winner of last year’s challenge Alex Till from MENTA.

John Dugmore was also named the competition’s top fundraiser after he managed to raise an impressive £4,160 and as a reward for his efforts John was presented with a bottle of champagne.

Throughout the event, which was sponsored by Ashtons Legal, the brave bunch had their physical skill and mental grit put to the test whilst earning as many stars as they could.

With their blindfolds in place the group were asked to get close to members of the animal kingdom and reptiles, some of which they would probably usually like to avoid.

Contestants had to hold and identify an Australian bearded dragon, corn snake, gecko, rat, and with cockroaches and morio worms also in the mix. However it was the last animal a guinea pig that most people struggled to identify.

Before the eating challenge, participants were asked to enjoy a smoothie with a difference as they drunk a stomach churning mix of tripe and mealworms. Having supped their drink the contestants were then presented with pig’s eyes, ears, snout and brains and asked to eat them to score points.

Abby Mayes, St Nicholas Hospice Care corporate fundraiser, said: “The whole day was a lot of fun. Everyone really threw themselves into the bush craft activities and I think a few of them were quite surprised by how good their survival skills were.

“There was definitely plenty of team spirit and although everyone was competing against each other for the crown they all encouraged each other along especially during the eating challenge.

“To have risen almost £20,000 really shows how much effort everyone put into their fundraising. We are so grateful to everyone for their support.

“This sum will help us continue caring for the people in our community with long-term and life-threatening illnesses. It will make such a difference to so many people and their families.”

For more information on the hospice visit

Pictured above are the team of business bosses who took part in St Nicholas Hospice Care’s 2017 I’m a CEO… Get Me Out of Here challenge.

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