The search is on to find the hidden skills of workers across Cornwall. The team at Cornwall Hospice Care are asking businesses to do some digging to find out what talents their workforce have. The idea is to encourage firms to use people’s personal abilities to successfully take on the charity’s new Accumulator Challenge.

Gilbert & Goode in St Austell have a hidden talent in Cornet player Scott Allen (pictured) who has been playing the cornet since he was seven years old. A member of St Dennis Band, he is Asset Manager for Ocean Housing and looks after the new homes that Gilbert & Goode deliver as part of Ocean’s new build programme;

“I remember the faces of my colleagues and their surprise, the first time they heard me play my Cornet at work. I was also extremely proud to play the last post at our offices to mark our respect for those who lost their lives during the wars and to launch the Cornwall poppy appeal.”

Barclays in Truro have hidden talents within their Corporate team in the names of Karen Hurn and Nigel Bowen.

Karen is Head of the South West Corporate Support Team at Barclays and has been singing as a hobby for 40 years, raising over £80,000 for charity. She has sung with many famous names including Terry Waite CBE and most recently Jonathan Antoine, star tenor of Britain's Got Talent.

“Alongside my banking career, spanning 32 years, I have been privileged and honoured to use my hobby to raise money for many local charities. Singing has taken me all over the world and I have made such wonderful friends along the way” said Karen.

Then from a sporting angle, Nigel Bowen is an enthusiastic club cricketer of many seasons and has filled a number of administrative, fund-raising and playing roles at St Erme Cricket Club over the last 15 years, as well as arranging social cricket matches for the Bank against other local business.

"No doubt my colleagues would argue that my talent is less well hidden as they suffer having to listen to my weekly cricketing stories during the summer season!" said Nigel.

In the West of the county, Networking Consultant and owner of The Samphire Club, John Harvey of Penzance has a hidden talent in that he has been learning to ballroom dance and has put his talent to good use at a recent fundraising ball in aid of Cornwall Hospice Care.

“The Samphire Club is delighted to support Cornwall Hospice Care for a very personal reason. My dancing partner’s late husband (Phil Sissons) received fantastic care at the end of his life and I want to say thank you!” Said John.

Karen Murrish is the Corporate Fundraising Manager for Cornwall Hospice Care;

“We think that people will be really surprised at the little known talents of their colleagues and we are asking them to think about how they might make use of their many wonderful skills to raise funds for our charity. It’s already sparked some really interesting conversations and we are sure that teams will find The Accumulator Challenge a unique way to encourage team work and to create some fascinating adventures and stories.”

Cornwall Hospice Care, in partnership with Cornwall Chamber of Commerce and with sponsorship from Gilbert & Goode, are seeking 50 corporate teams who will be given a £50 stake each. They will then be challenged in the 50 days of The Accumulator Challenge, with making as much profit as possible.

Kim Conchie, Chief Executive of Cornwall Chamber of Commerce said: "This is a fantastic, innovative campaign for a very worthy cause; we're excited to see the weird and wonderful ways Cornwall's businesses multiple their £50 and urge as many people as possible to get involved."

Participating teams will also be invited to enter various award categories as part of the challenge. These will be judged by a panel including Simon Caklais of Gilbert & Goode, Mark Duddridge of Ginsters and Chair of the Local Enterprise Partnership, Mel Colton-Dyer or Kim Conchie of CCC, Ann Vandermeulen, Federation of Small Businesses, Lesley Ross Chair of Trustees for Cornwall Hospice Care, and Daphne Skinnard of BBC Radio Cornwall.

The challenge will begin on Wednesday 11th May and run until Wednesday 29th June. Teams interested in taking part should contact Karen Murrish at Cornwall Hospice Care kmurrish@cornwallhospice.co.uk or by calling 07711 373595. Details are also available at: https://www.cornwallhospicecare.co.uk/the-accumulator-challenge