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5 December 2011
Team building event is a huge act of kindness

L to R Sheree Ebanks, Rocio Esau, John Herod, Alison Lomax, Rose Lemuth, Nicole Boyd, Habte Skale, Dianne Chung, Dee Duggan and Julie McLaughlin

(Grand Cayman – December 5, 2011) What started out as a fun, team-building exercise for Butterfield’s Trust and Fiduciary Services Department quickly became a tremendous boost for one of Cayman’s most worthy charities – ARK (Acts of Random Kindness).“We were looking for a way to foster better communications between staff members who may not interact closely on a day-to-day basis and might not therefore know each other so well,” Sheree Ebanks, Butterfield Director and Head of the Trust and Fiduciary Services Department, explains.


Butterfield enlisted the help of mediation specialists Solutions Ltd to come up with a suitable exercise that would involve everyone in the department.“It was also important for us to ensure that the results of the exercise gave back to the community in some way,” Mrs. Ebanks confirms. With this in mind Solutions Ltd devised a shopping event that would pitch teams against each other, with just CI$250 given to each team to see who could bring back the highest value of goods over and above the initial CI$250 “investment”.


The five teams randomly put together from the department’s staff members had just three hours to bring back the spoils of their labours. All the goods they received would be donated to the ARK project, just in time for Christmas.“Teams had to show a good deal of creativity, innovation, planning, hard work and focus to win,” Julie McLaughlin from Solutions says.
Each team was judged not only on the value of the goods they brought back, but also their effectiveness in working as a team, their time management capabilities, the formation of their action plan, among many other criteria. Mrs. Ebanks says she was astounded at the results, with the five teams bringing back a total of around CI$6,000 worth of goods, not a bad return on the initial CI$1,250 investment, she says, noting the incredible ingenuity and creativity of her staff. Donations from Dr. Sook Yin for check-up medicals, family portrait donations from Photo Plus and two bicycles donated by Uncle Bills were among the wide range of donations made.


Staff say certain shops and individuals were incredibly generous, having to make spur-of-the-moment decisions as to the size of their donations. Some organisations said they would not be able to make immediate decisions but asked staff to make a follow up visit, when they would be happy to donate once they had received approvals, Mrs. Ebanks confirms. In the end it was the red team who won, made up of Rose Lemuth, Assistant Trust Officer; John Herod, Projects Manager; Nicola Boyd, Accountant; Diane Chung, Senior Administrator and Hable Skale, Senior Accountant.


“It was a real thrill to be able to do something so worthwhile for the ARK project,” Ms. Boyd says. “It was an exhilarating exercise.” Mr. Herod said he believed they won because they took the time to devise an action plan, so even though they were the last team to leave the premises on the hunt for goods, they were the first ones back. “We worked really well together,” he confirmed. “We devised a good strategy in that we called or emailed businesses ahead of actually visiting them, so they had some time to prepare their donations. The entire exercise was incredibly thrilling and exciting, mixed with genuine disappointment when businesses did not come up with the goods!”


Staff said they came away from the event knowing their fellow colleagues far better and with a tremendous sense of satisfaction in what they had achieved.
Receiving the goods from Butterfield were ARK representatives Alison Lomax and Rocio Esau, both of whom were overwhelmed with the tremendous response the exercise had generated from businesses.
“We are extremely grateful to Butterfield, Solutions Ltd and to those who so kindly made donations,” Mrs. Lomax says. “This is a fantastic boost to our Christmas drive and the goods will all go to extremely needy families on the island.”


Butterfield would particularly like to thank Leonne & Eddie Ebanks, Dr. Sook Yin , Uncle Bills,  Hurleys Grand Harbour,  Book Nook, Kirk Freeport, Eduardos, Atlantic Department Store, PDs,  Little Darlings, Baby Shoppe, No. 1 Shoe Shop, Books and Books, Lee’s Office Products, Kirk Office Products, Reflections Food 4 Less,  Ropers Enterprise, Dale Crighton , Fosters Food Fair, LIME, Flowers, Progressive Distributors,  Cayman Imports, Dejon Beauty Salon, Burger King/Popeyes, Photo Plus, Digicel, Styles with a Difference and each one of the staff members who also personally contributed for their particular generosity.




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