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Novice rower attempts to break World Record

In attempt to break the world record of 32 days and raise money to find a cure for Crohn’s and Colitis.

His nine-year-old son Fergus suffers from Crohns, a chronic condition where ulcers form along the digestive tract causing constant and sometimes excruciating pain. Prior hopes to raise &pound100,000 and increase awareness of this disease.

Prior's record breaking attempt has inspired the team at the company he has worked at for the last 15 years. INVOLVE, who are employment engagement specialists, have set up a values competition within their own organisation to demonstrate their support for James.

Jeremy Starling, managing director at INVOLVE, says, "James is doing an amazing thing for his son and we’ve all been inspired by his dedication and enthusiasm.”

“He has almost no experience of rowing but that’s not stopped him taking on this challenge. We’ve always spoken to companies about leading by example and this is the perfect way for us to pull together as a team and re-ignite our passion and our values. James is great example of the power of living your values and we hope he’ll inspire others with this challenge.”

Prior is part of an eight man team of rowers that set off from Gran Canaria on the 10th February. Many crews have attempted to break the world record, but only four teams have set new crossing times since 1992.

Prior's dedication to raising money to fight this disease has motivated everyone at INVOLVE. His colleagues wanted to actively support him as he completes this difficult journey so everyone will be taking part in a range of internal office activities while he is away. For the next six weeks, they will be tracking his progress and matching his journey as a team on the rowing machine in the office. Everyone has a pedometer and so will also count walking, running, cycling and all other physical activities that they do in their spare time towards the miles they row.

The team at INVOLVE share 5 core values, which reflect how they work with each other and their clients. These are:

&middot      radiating positive energy,

&middot      being passionate about effectiveness,

&middot      pioneering,

&middot      making work fun,

&middot      working as a team and respecting individuality.

Each employee has picked one of these values out of a hat (actually a coconut) and will focus on spending the first two weeks living that value to its full around the office. After two weeks everyone gets to pick another of the 5 values and this process will be repeated every 2 weeks until Prior finishes his Atlantic challenge. A “values wall” has been created so that during this time people are able to capture moments of values brilliance and recognise individuals' efforts. Ideas so far have ranged from giving everyone Inspire Buddy’s – a person dedicated to sending you inspiring ideas and news articles – through to all agency “involving” lunches.

At the end of the six weeks (or however long it takes Prior), everyone will vote on who embodied INVOLVE’s values the most over the period. Two champions will be selected and win a trip to the Caribbean to surprise Prior and film the end of his colossal journey.

INVOLVE will also be tracking the team’s engagement within their office for the next six weeks. An engagement survey was circulated before the challenge began and will be recirculated at the finale


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