With its packed diary of awards, expos and networking gatherings the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce team is used to taking part in big-ticket events.

On Sunday, May 31, however, the Chamber will be uniting as a team for a networking event with a difference – the Great Birmingham 10K ENGIE Business Challenge.

The ENGIE Business Challenge is back as part of the Great Birmingham 10K, inspiring employees to get out of the workplace and into their trainers.

It has become an annual fixture in the calendar of local businesses, as part of the mass participation running event which this year will see participants run, jog or walk their way around an exciting new city centre course incorporating the heart of Birmingham, its latest developments and world-famous heritage sites.

Great Birmingham 10K participants will celebrate everything that's great about the city, with the 10k starting near the Birmingham Hippodrome before passing the Mailbox, Grand Central and the historic Jewellery Quarter, before finishing near Victoria Square and Colmore Row in the city's Business District.

The Chambers of Commerce team is running in support of Birmingham Women's Hospital Charity's Woodland House Appeal – Chambers President Steve Allen's charity of the year.

Birmingham Women's Hospital is one of only two dedicated women's hospitals in the UK and is a centre of excellence providing specialist services to more than 50,000 women, men and families every year from across the region. With the busiest, single-site maternity unit in the country, the hospital also cares for over 2,000 grieving mums and dads every year who have lost a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death.

Space within the hospital is limited and as such heart-breaking conversations currently take place in rooms and locations that don't reflect the significance of a family's loss.

Birmingham Women's Hospital Charity launched the £3.5 million Woodland House Appeal last year to bring a brand-new, purpose-built bereavement centre to the hospital, which is away from the hustle and bustle of the main wards, where families can spend time together in safe, secure and serene surroundings before they feel ready to face the world again.

Paul Faulkner, chief executive of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, said: “The Chamber team are hugely excited about this year's Great Birmingham 10K and the prospect of raising money for our charity of the year, Birmingham Women's Hospital's Woodland House Appeal.

“Of course, Birmingham is gearing up for the Commonwealth Games in 2022 and events like this are further proof that we live and work in a real sporting city. The new route, taking in some of the city's best-known and iconic landmarks, will add to what is always a fantastic occasion.

“Although the event is all about bringing the city-region together and embracing the spirit of sport, we are a competitive bunch so we're throwing down the gauntlet to businesses across Greater Birmingham to come and join us in the Business Challenge!”

Saranne Moreno, Corporate Strategic Partnerships Manager at Birmingham Women's Hospital Charity, said: “We think it's fantastic that the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce has entered a team to run the Great Birmingham 10K in aid of our Woodland House Appeal.

“Since announcing their partnership with us, they have shown such enthusiasm for our mission to make things better for our bereaved families, it's truly inspiring. We want to break the silence around pregnancy and baby loss, so we urge others to support us in helping make Woodland House a reality.”

Last year's event saw over 300 work colleagues from 28 different organisations take their places on the start line in a bid to be crowned Birmingham's fastest business with JW Hinks LLP taking top honours in the small business category, Marks & Clerk LLP taking the title for the medium category and KPMG claiming victory in the large category.

Nicola Lovett, CEO at ENGIE UK & Ireland said: “We are delighted to once again to be sponsoring the ENGIE Business Challenge. It is a great way for organisations across the Birmingham region to come together and focus on charity fundraising for their chosen good cause. It's also an opportunity to encourage a healthy outlook for staff and engage in some team building.”

Companies can enter male, female or mixed teams of 4-8 runners in each team to compete for the trophy awarded to the fastest overall small, medium and large businesses across the categories.

Within each size category there will be prizes for first, second and third place and all businesses that enter 12 or more people into the event will receive their own personalised company engraved plaque.

For more information on how to set the challenge to your colleagues, click here 

To donate to the Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Woodland House Appeal visit justgiving.com/fundraising/GBCC2020 

Photo: Back row (left to right): Elliot Cook (group business development manager), Emily Stubbs (policy and patron adviser), Rebecca Black, Hamish Kelly (both group business development managers), James Lloyd-Smith (digital marketing manager). Front row: Kate Warnaby (executive assistant), Qasim Majid (President, Asian Business Chamber of Commerce), Paul Faulkner (chief executive) and Lee Gallacher (head of business development)