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Heathrow Airport

Case study: Heathrow

Credit: Heathrow Airport

Partnering to fight poverty: The UK’s largest airport joins forces with Oxfam to raise more than £1 million.

Bringing the partnership to life

The partnership took shape under three main guises. At its heart was a programme of colleague fundraising activities that brought the entire 'Heathrow Community' together including engineers, security personnel, transport managers, construction staff, and cleaners. 

Alongside more conventional ideas such as charity golf days, Heathrow aimed to capture the imagination of colleagues with high-profile and unique events that embraced the essence of its business and its spirit of teamwork. This was demonstrated nowhere more than a night-time marathon along the airport's runway and a bike ride that saw 364 cyclists racing an aircraft across the Atlantic - #racetheplane

To complement this, Heathrow also donated advertising space around the airport to Oxfam and set up 30 foreign coin collection points.

With the partnership engaging both Heathrow colleagues and customers, and raising £1 million for Oxfam so far, the collaboration is a huge success and is making a lasting difference to the lives of people living in poverty.

Race the Plane Challenge 2016 

Colleagues working at Heathrow took to their static bikes for a momentous challenge - racing an aeroplane from JFK to Heathrow in real time:

364 people took part across 28 teams

3,452 miles were covered

Cyclists achieved an average speed of 609 mph

Colleagues beat the plane by 30 minutes, completing the journey in 6 hours 15 minutes


Heathrow connects people and places. We chose to support Oxfam as our Charity partner as their international reach and brand awareness is a great fit with our business and the thousands of passengers from all over the world who travel through Heathrow each week. We have been very well supported by the Oxfam team throughout our multi-year partnership. The team have been great at coming up with ideas and creative materials to help bring the partnership to life and involve colleagues, customers and suppliers at many levels. Heathrow places great emphasis on the contribution of colleagues to our wider community. The Oxfam partnership has enabled individuals to showcase their talents in events planning, organisation and encouraging others to get fit and have fun. The fundraising events we have run have added greatly to positive relations amongst our Heathrow community and also with our suppliers. We are proud to be well on the way to raising £1 million for Oxfam's excellent work.

 Clare Harbord, Corporate Affairs Director, Heathrow Airport

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