We are proud to be keeping the Stark family together and team spirits lifted from a distance while we navigate through the challenges of Covid-19. Despite being physically apart, the Stark Group has never been better connected.
Last week we took our annual summer celebration online for our first big digital party – a home edition of our annual summer party. We talked to our Office Manager Claire Milsom about the event she coordinated and how Stark has stayed social throughout 2020.

Tell us about Stark’s social events

Working at Stark is brilliant because we have a big social calendar with events spread throughout the year. From family fundraisers to a fabulous festive party we always aim to create occasions that are inclusive and enjoyable for all. Every summer we put on a fun-packed BBQ at a lovely hotel in Surrey; the combination of garden games, great food and dancing outside with our brilliant DJ makes the party an annual highlight. We were gutted not to be able to bring everyone together in the same place this year but I was determined that we weren’t going to break traditions. So together with a brilliant little team of colleagues, we started to make preparations for a home edition of the event.


How did you overcome the challenges of COVID-19 for the Summer BBQ?

The aim was to not to let the distance dampen the sense of occasion as we still wanted to celebrate all the hard work and successes our teams have had this year despite the pandemic. So our approach was to bring the essence of all the great things about the barbeque for a home edition of our traditional event, covering everything from live DJ music to a magician.

We created virtual areas of our venue where colleagues could float between whichever entertainment took their fancy and bump into different people they may not have spoken with for a while, just like we would bump into people at the bar in real life. We also took the opportunity to raise money for our charity of the year The Cystic Fibrosis Trust and support their Wear Yellow Day campaign. To make the event extra special, we sent out a party pack of goodies to really get everyone in the party spirit ahead of the day.


How did the event go?

It was fantastic – bringing over 200 people together on Teams isn’t easy but I have had lovely feedback that everyone had a good laugh all afternoon so I would call that a success! I loved seeing everyone get stuck in; it was a great way for the whole family or housemates to get involved in the entertainment too. And if that’s not enough Stark raised £1,615 for The Cystic Fibrosis Trust which is amazing because we have had to postpone other fundraising events due to the pandemic.

Any advice for organisations keeping teams together in 2020?

Keep everything as interactive as possible. Creating our own versions of classic game shows like Blockbusters has proven to be a big hit with our teams over lockdown.

Don’t let the distance stop you from creating good memories and supporting good causes with your teams, it is so important to mix in some fun and celebrate your achievements.

Come work with us

We believe in a genuine work-life balance. We work as a family, supporting one another and celebrating our successes together.