The North East office of audit, tax and consulting firm RSM has formed a band to support The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) in its Diamond Anniversary year to raise much-needed funds to help young people across the UK.
The band, known as The Dukes, is made up of eight RSM North East employees - many of which had never picked up an instrument and are learning to play as part of the challenge.
As Headline Diamond Partners, RSM colleagues were challenged with taking on an adventure, team development and learning a new skill, and the Newcastle team has combined all three into one challenge.
To coincide with its 60th year, the Charity launched the DofE Diamond Challenge, a one-off initiative encouraging people of all ages to take on a DofE inspired challenge. Over 800 RSM staff from across the UK have already signed up to take part in challenges including learning circus skills and riding the longest zip wire in Europe. In addition to the support for the DofE Diamond Challenge, in February RSM launched the Gold DofE Award for its own school leavers and graduates.
Stuart McKinnon, tax partner at RSM and drummer in the band, explains more. ‘As a firm we are supporting The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Diamond Challenge this year and we took this as an opportunity to do something we have always wanted to do, whilst raising money for a worthy charity. Triathlons and sponsored walks weren’t for us, so as a group of music lovers who had never picked up an instrument before we decided to form a band.
‘It’s been hard work but great fun. The icing on the cake is that we have secured a spot at the Lindisfarne Festival in early September, which I think is a pretty big deal for our first outing!’