The Open Blog

Our Annual Snow Day

For the past few years we’ve been working with Lake Aid, a charity working with refugees based in and around Annecy, to provide a day of fun in Courchevel for a group of 35 refugee children. Our aptly named “Snow Day”, which ran for a day in March. This has usually included a morning of sledging and treasure hunts in Le Praz, followed by lunch, climbing and craft activities in Bozel. It’s always an energetic, rewarding and fun day for the volunteers and a day of sheer excitement for the kids.

Kids sliding on 1 ski with Sara

In previous years it’s been obvious that, like us, the kids love one thing more than anything else… snow! So this year, we decided to shake things up and do what we do best with the kids by teaching them to ski. 

This had the potential of being a logistical nightmare, but we wanted to give them the best experience possible. So we needed enough instructors to volunteer their time to have small groups. We needed lift passes, insurance, lunches, snacks, transport to and from Annecy.  We also needed to make sure the beginners areas of Courchevel would provide enough space to make learning safe for everyone. 

Luckily, we have an amazing team in our office in Bozel that is more than used to a few logistical conundrums! We moved the day to January, when we usually have a little more spare time and set about recruiting instructors. We wanted to provide an instructor for every 4 children, with the aim of being able to teach 36 children how to ski.

Helmets from White Storm

On top of the support within our own team we had incredible support for the day from some local partners in resort. During the process we were blown over by the generosity of local businesses.

  • S3V provided us with free lift-passes for the children.
  • The Mairie provided us two rooms for the children to get kitted up in and enjoy their lunch if it was snowing.
  • White Storm in 1850 provided half of the children with free ski hire (and were extremely efficient in getting 18 children kitted out!)
  • Ski Higher in La Tania were incredible in providing a mobile fitting and free ski hire for the other half of the children that skied in Courchevel 1650.
    On top of that we had an amazing team of 12 instructors that gave up their Saturday along with 10 wonderful volunteers from across various New Gen departments including finance, sales, operations, our UK office and even one of our instructor trainees. To round it off we were accompanied by an enthusiastic team of 8 volunteers from Lake Aid and the Red Cross, all of whom helped to make the day run as smoothly and safely as possible!

Learning to ski in 1850

The day couldn’t have gone better with some children being able to ski back down to Courchevel 1650 from the top of the bubble and some of the older children in 1850 exploring the blues Courchevel has to offer. With fresh snow, blue skies and glorious sunshine we all enjoyed a day to remember and we can’t wait to do it all again next year!

Thanks again to everyone who helped to organize the day, and to our very generous partners, who gave up their time and offered their expertise to make sure these children enjoyed a special and unforgettable day in the mountains. 

Group photo in 1650

"Thank you for all your organisation, and to New Gen for their generosity! I know I’m gushing but can’t get over the amount of helpers, the lunches, the ski passes, the extra snacks and the cherry on the top being the badges, they were all so proud!"

Helen from Lake Aid