30 MILES: 10 CODES: THE HEAT OF THE DESERT.

1- 31 July 2021

Virtually walk 30 miles across Cairo and beyond 

A 30 mile challenge to capture enemy agents, and identify a leak in British intelligence before it's too late... 

Calling all Secret Agents.. We need you to take on Operation Bletchley: Your Virtual Codebreaking Challenge.

Your mission is to cover 30 miles on foot, virtually travelling across Cairo in it's blistering heat. Track down an enemy agent and identify who has been leaking British Intelligence before the Nazis figure out Enigma has cracked their coded messages and change their codes - that would be a disaster, starving Britain and shutting down our factories. 

Your mission starts on 1 July 2021, and you have until the 31 July to crack the codes and deliver the final message to Winston Churchill before your time runs out. 

With three levels of codes; junior, codebreaker and cypher expert to tackle, get the whole family together this summer - do you have what it takes? Sign up now!

How it works

Operation Bletchley: Cairo is a virtual event that you can take part in anywhere in the world. Here’s how it works...

  1. Sign up for just £10 and link your phone or fitness tracker to your fundraising page (you can also record your miles manually if you prefer)
  2. Start walking at your own pace (from 1 July 2021)
  3. Receive updates and codes to crack after every three miles completed - three levels are available - Junior, Codebreaker or Cypher Expert
  4. Solve the codes to decipher the hidden message
  5. Complete the journey and deliver the message by the midnight on 31 July 2021.

Your mission

It’s July 1942 and the outcome of the war is balanced on a knife edge. Since the bombing of Pearl Harbor before Christmas, the Americans have well and truly joined the fight. But with the fall of Singapore in the East and the Japanese threatening to storm British India, there are dark days yet to come.

The Germans were pushing hard to reach Moscow, but the Soviet resistance and freezing temperatures slowed them down. It seems the Nazis weren’t ready for ‘General Winter’ – but the fight is far from over. General Paulus’s troops have dug their heels in at Kharkov and the Soviets now face a brutal counter-attack.

In the Mediterranean, the Germans are racing to secure their sea routes from Europe to North Africa. Greece and Crete have already fallen, but Malta still stands strong. As a reward for their gallantry, the island was given the George Cross by King George VI in April.

Which brings us to the desperate situation in Africa. General Rommel’s troops seized Tobruk on 21 June 1942, and the Desert Fox now hopes to take Egypt and secure the Suez Canal. Some Egyptians are even conspiring with the Germans and Italians, so we’re being forced to detain any civilians from Axis countries until we have a handle on things.

But it isn’t enough. Too many are free to spy on the Allies, and someone is now leaking British intelligence from Egypt. To make matters worse, we’ve just received word that a top German agent is on their way to Rommel’s headquarters.

The top brass have taken an interest, so now we need our own pair of boots on the ground… Yours. You’ll go undercover to gather intelligence and crack codes to track down the leak in Egypt. And you’ll need to do it all on foot to avoid detection. Temperatures will be treacherous, but we trust that you’re up to the challenge. Churchill wants you to report back to him directly, so get cracking, Agent.

The difference your generosity can make

£50 - could help cover travel costs so a veteran can attend a job interview.

£75 - could go towards the cost of a temporary wheelchair ramp, allowing an injured soldier to enter and leave their home.

£250 - could contribute towards the care home fees of a frail elderly veteran who requires continuous care.

£1000 - could help pay for home adaptations so that a veteran’s young disabled child can live in a safe and accessible environment.

 

Sponsor a friend

Find the fundraising page of someone already taking part in Operation Bletchley.

About the event 

Operation Bletchley is your Virtual Codebreaking Challenge. Take on one of three missions this summer and crack the codes as you go. Choose from either 30 miles, 50 miles or 100 miles. Can you deliver your message before it’s too late? 

What do I do?

Sign up now and you will automatically create your own event page. This is so much more than just a place for your fundraising. You will use this page to track your walks, rack up your miles, mark off your cracked codes and earn fundraising milestone badges. Share this page with the whole world and watch the donations add up. 

You can link your page directly with Fitbit or MapMyFitness to track your walks automatically or you can simply add your miles manually to your page. Instructions on how to do this can be found here. We recommend you do this at least 24 hours before the start of the event on 1 July 2021.

Use any device you like, the site is set up to work on your mobile, tablet or laptop, making it easy to keep track of your challenge wherever you are.  

Cover the miles of your chosen mission during July 2021 and once you have cracked all the codes successfully and deciphered the final message you must deliver it by midnight on 31 July 2021 to receive your mission accomplished status and well deserved medal. 

Codes

Every 3 miles (Cairo), 5 miles (London) or 10 miles (Paris) you’ll get a new code to crack sent straight to your inbox. Solve this right away, or save them up for the end. You'll need to solve the first 9 codes to solve the final code. 

Submitting your answers:

You can now submit the answer to each code in your event area on your fundraising page and find out instantly if you've solved each code correctly! To submit your answers simply follow these easy steps: 

1.Log in to your page and go to 'Dashboard' 

2.Click on 'Codes and Answers' 

3.Choose your level (Junior, Codebreaker or Cypher Expert) 

4.Choose your code number 

5.Enter your answer! You'll find out straight away if it is correct. 

Distance

You have the choice to complete either a 30, 50 or 100 mile walk which can be done anywhere in the world, whether is your local town, village or even if you live abroad. Whichever distance you choose, you must finish before the 31st July. You’ll have 10 codes to crack and once all the codes are successfully decrypted you must decipher the final message and deliver it. 

Fitness

This challenge is for everyone. Whether you are a beginner and want to get into walking or are a keen walker and want a bit of fun competition. You can do the challenge in your own time or race others to try and finish first with the added twist and codebreaking element.

Time

The challenge runs from the 1st - 31st July. Feel free to keep tracking your steps until the very end. Your fundraising page will stay open for one month after the challenge ends, but you must submit your final answer by the 31st July to qualify for your medal. 

Your official Operation Bletchley medal will be awarded if you receive 'Mission Accomplished' status by the 31st July. You will need to complete the full miles you have chosen (30, 50 or 100) and deliver the coded message on time. 

In addition to your official Operation Bletchley medal there will also be a money can't buy fundraisers pin badge on offer. These will be awarded to anyone who raises £250 for The Soldiers' Charity. 

Fundraising

There is no obligation to fundraise but if you do there are plenty of rewards on offer. The money you raise will help support soldiers, veterans and their families in need. ABF The Soldiers’ Charity is the official Charity of The British Army and will be there for soldiers, for life.  

Have fun

..Testing yourself mentally and physically on your virtual codebreaking challenge.

A rewarding experience

Although there is no obligation to fundraise, we have some amazing incentives if you choose to do so. Your fundraising will also support soldiers, veterans and their families in need through the British Army's National Charity - ABF The Soldiers' Charity. 

The puzzle book will contain the first 9 codes of your mission. We’ll be sending these out in the last week of June, so make sure you have raised £50 on your fundraising page by then to ensure you receive it ready for the start of the mission on the 1st July. The final 10th code will be revealed once you’ve walked the full distance! 

Medals and more...

Your official Operation Bletchley medal will be awarded if you receive 'Mission Accomplished' status. To do this you simply need to deliver your correct coded message on time, by midnight on 31 July 2021. 

Fundraising will remain open until the end of August 2021. You will receive your medal in September 2021. 

Your fundraising results will be automatically included in our Fundraising Army promotions table, so you can compete with other supporters. 

You’ll also be able to join the Operation Bletchley online community where you’ll find many like-minded people who will support and encourage you. 

For more information or if you have any questions, please contact Agent A & Agent W on events@soldierscharity.org. 

How far will you rise?

By signing up to Operation Bletchley you’ll be enlisted into our elite Army – The Soldiers’ Charity Fundraising Army.

See the full list of promotions here.

Joining as a Private, your primary mission will be to raise vital funds to support our soldiers, veterans and their families. Do you have the drive to rise through the ranks whilst raising money to help those who fought and gave so much for us. 

Where your money goes

 

The Soldiers’ Charity give a lifetime of support to soldiers and veterans from the British Army, and their immediate families, when they are in need. We make grants to individuals through their Regiments and Corps and support a wide range of specialist charities that sustain the British Army ‘family’, both at home and around the world.

We take pride in being responsive, making a difference at a critical point in people’s lives. We have been doing this since 1944, working with veterans of every conflict, and we envisage continuing doing so for the ‘long haul’ – supporting all future generations of our soldiers and their dependents.

“All soldiers, veterans and their immediate families should have the opportunity to avoid hardship and enjoy independence and dignity.”

Through fundraising initiatives like Operation Bletchley, you really can make a difference:

 

£50 - could help cover travel costs so a veteran can attend a job interview.

£75 - could go towards the cost of a temporary wheelchair ramp, allowing an injured soldier to enter and leave his home.

£250 - could contribute towards the care home fees of a frail elderly veteran who requires continuous care.

£1000 - could help pay for home adaptations so that a veteran’s young disabled child can live in a safe and accessible environment.

Thank you for your support.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

COVID-19

Is it safe to take part in Operation Bletchley during the current COVID-19 outbreak?

Whenever you take part in any challenge it is important to look after yourself. Please ensure you follow all government advice and look after your own safety as well as the safety of those you come into contact with. Under the current restrictions it is still possible to take part in Operation Bletchley. 

This challenge can be completed alone or with members of your household as part of your daily exercise routine, you can also log steps around your house and if you are lucky enough to have one, garden. You have 31 days to complete the challenge so only have to walk on average 0.97 miles a day (30 mile Cairo mission), 1.6 miles a day (50 mile London mission) or 3.2 miles a day (100 mile Paris mission). You can spread it out over the month or do it in bigger chunks but please remember to make sure you follow social distancing rules at all times.  

We wish we had a crystal ball to know what the situation will be in July but please always follow current government advice, keep an eye in your inbox or on our Operation Bletchley Facebook group for advice and updates, follow social distancing and stay safe. 

Why take part this July? 

In this current climate children have spent alot of time off school, and most of us have spent a lot of the past year at home trying to entertain ourselves. Operation Bletchley offers the perfect combination of exercise (daily walking), brain teasers (the codes) and learning (all of the missions, history, people and locations are historically accurate) and can be done while following social distancing, so this is the perfect virtual event to get involved in. Use your daily exercise to unlock puzzles and crack codes as you go while learning about the hidden figures of the Second World War. 

About the event

What is Operation Bletchley: Cairo?

Operation Bletchley is a personal challenge, testing yourself physically and mentally that can be completed at any location. You can start at your pace anywhere in the world. It can be completed in lots of smaller walks, as part of your day to day life or even as one big walk.  

Cover the 30, 50 or 100 miles, crack the codes and identify the source of the intelligence leak in Cairo, deliver the message to Winston Churchill in London or to a secret agent waiting for you in the heart of Paris before it’s too late. 

What are the 3 levels of codes?

There are 3 different levels to participate in:

  1. Junior codebreaker – aimed at 8-12 year olds
  2. Codebreaker – Challenging
  3. Cypher Expert – Would be accepted at GCHQ!

Don’t be fooled into thinking the Junior codebreaker and codebreaker levels will be too easy!

What if I cannot crack a code?

When you receive your first email with the first code, there will be 3 options available in your 'Codes and Answers' section on your page. If you choose Codebreaker and find further down the line you are unable to solve them you can return to your 'Codes and Answers' section and select Junior codebreaker and complete the 12 codes in that level. You can also move up a level if you find one level too easy!

You can also choose the option of paying a suggested donation of £5 for a clue to help crack your code! This does not count towards your fundraising target, but the money is donated directly to ABF The Soldiers' Charity.

Once I have completed my 30, 50 or 100 miles and have solved all the codes what do I do? 

Congratulations on getting this far! You now need to piece together the answers from your codes and work out source of the intelligence leak to Stop Rommell or solve the hidden message to deliver to Winston Churchill at the Cabinet War Rooms in Whitehall or to a secret agent waiting for you in the heart of Paris. Submit your answer and find out if you have accomplished your mission! 

How do I track my walk?

You can track your walk automatically using FitBit or MapMyFitness or you can manually add distances.  

These fitness tracking services can be linked with your fundraising page so you can share your progress with your friends and family. If you cannot do this then you can manually add your completed miles to your page by logging on to your fundraising page from 1 July 2021. 

Full instructions can be found here

How do I submit my answers?

New for Operation Bletchley, you can now submit the answer to each code in your event area on your fundraising page and find out instantly if you've solved each code correctly! To submit your answers simply follow these easy steps:

1.Log in to your page and go to 'Dashboard'

2.Click on 'Codes and Answers'

3.Choose your level (Junior, Codebreaker or Cypher Expert)

4.Choose your code number

5.Enter your answer! You'll find out straight away if it is correct.

I'm having trouble tracking my miles

Most issues with the mileage tracking can be solved by re-linking your fitness device. You can do this by

  1. Log in to your account
  2. Go to 'My Fitness Activity'
  3. Click 'Disconnect App'

Please then reconnect following the instructions found here

Remember, you can always track your miles manually. 

Can I use other tracker apps such as Garmin to record my miles to may page?

The only apps that will link directly with the software are FitBit and MapMyFitness but there is also the option to add your miles manually to your page.

Can I record my miles without a tracker?

If you do not have a tracker you can link, do not worry, you can log your walks and manually add them to your account. Simply follow the below steps: 

  1. Log in to your account and select ‘My FitnessActivity’
  2. Under ‘Add activity’, enter the date and distance
  3. The number of miles will now appear on your fundraising page!

We recommend that you enter your miles in multiples of 3 miles (30 mile Cairo mission), 5 miles (50 mile London mission) or 10 miles (100 mile Paris mission) at a time to ensure you receive every stage of the email journey and every puzzle.  

If at any stage you feel you have missed one, just let us know and we can forward it onto you. Instructions can be found here.

My Fitness Tracker isn't syncing

Fitbit can take up to 24 hours to sync, but most usually sync within an hour.

Please wait at least one hour and then get in touch with us on events@soldierscharity.org and we'll take a look at your account. 

Why can't I use Strava to track my walks?

We have used Strava for previous Operation Bletchley missions, but made the decision not to inclue it as an option for 2021. Our website is linked to Strava by an API, which is made and developed by Strava. The Strava API only allows 1,000 activities to be synced every day before it stops allowing any further syncing. We have 3,000+ wonderful fundraisers taking part in each Operation Bletchley (and often syncing more than one activity a day) which meant that over two thirds of the activities on Strava were not syncing. 

We have had conversations with Strava about increasing this limit, but were unable to come to an agreement. 

You can still use Strava to track your walks, but then will need to manually add them to your page. Fitbit and MapMyFitness are still working as normal. 

Registration

How much does it cost to take part?

It is just £10 to register for one of our missions 

Can I register a team?

Yes, during registration you can select 'create a team'. Once your registration is complete you can then share your team name or send your team mates the link to your team and they can register onto your team. They can also select 'Join a team' during their registration and search for your team name.

If I forget to create a team during my registration, can I do it at a later date?

Simply log back into your account, go to your fundraising page and you will see the 'create a team' button. Select this, create your team and share the team name/link for your team with mates so they can join it.

Registering a child without an e-mail address.

My child would like to sign up but doesn’t have an e-mail address.

That’s fine, simply register yourself and add a child registration on at the same time. This will create an account for you and a second for your child which will be managed by you.

How does this work?

If you register a child, you'll find two entries for Operation Bletchley 2021: Cairo on your online account dashboard. Yours and your child’s. You can see instructions on how to use the account here.

If you register more than one child, you'll find an entry for each child on your dashboard. 

Will they still be able to log miles and answer the codes?

Yes! The account will function just like a standard account. Any e-mails will go to your (the parents) e-mail address. This includes all newsletters, code e-mails and the ‘mission accomplished’ e-mail

I don’t want to register, but my child without an e-mail address does

We recommend just registering your child using standard entry and using your e-mail address. Please make sure you put the child’s date of birth during registration.

Fundraising

Does Gift Aid count towards the incentives?

ABF The Soldiers’ Charity policy, like that of many other charities, is that Gift Aid is not included in sponsorship targets.

This is because it can take time to verify the Gift Aid Claim. We need to ensure we have all the relevant information (first name, surname and full address) and that the donor is a tax payer and because of this it can take a while for the Gift Aid claims to be processed, and the funds paid to the charity.  

What is the fundraising target?

Although there is no fundraising obligation we ask that you raise as much as you can. No matter how big or small your target is we are here to help you. How about aiming for one of the below targets to get you started?

When you register for Operation Bletchley you’ll also be enrolled into our Fundraising Army. The more you raise the higher you’ll rise through the ranks – click here to see the ranks you can achieve. Challenge yourself to see how high you can get; will you make it to Captain?

Can I fundraise online?

Absolutely – online fundraising is a fantastic way for you to collect sponsorship from your friends, family and colleagues, particularly those you don’t see every day. From your donors’ point of view, it is a quick, easy and secure method of donating.

When you register for the event an online fundraising page is automatically created for you. This is your page, add your picture, write some text about what you’re doing and why, set your fundraising target, then send the link out to everyone you have ever met so that they can sponsor you easily and securely.

How do I raise money and where does it go?

Operation Bletchley is a fundraising event for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, with the money raised going towards helping soldiers, veterans and their families in times of greatest need. Find out more about who we’ve helped on our ‘Stories’ section.

Can we fundraise as a team?

Yes – it can make your fundraising target easier to meet if you fundraise together. You will even have a team fundraising page which is created automatically when you register as a team.

However all fundraising incentives are based on your individual amount raised rather than your team total.

Can I get help with fundraising?

Of course, the Operation Bletchley team is always available to help so please drop us an email events@soldierscharity.org. We can help with ideas, answer your queries and provide you with any fundraising materials you may need – collection tins, t-shirts, wristbands etc. We are here to help you!

Can I fundraise offline?

Yes you can - although that may be more difficult in the current circumstances. 

Paying in cash:

If you have collected cash please count this (with a witness) and then pay the cash into your bank account. You can then pay this onto your own fundraising page, send it via bank transfer or send us a cheque.

Paying in cheques:

Send cheques to the below address, with a note confirming your name and that it is for Operation Bletchley:

ABF The Soldiers' Charity
Mountbarrow House
12 Elizabeth Street
London
SW1W 9RB

Please note that while we are working from home there will be a delay in the processing of cheques. 

How do I add an offline donation to my page?

You can add an offline donation to your page by following the below steps.  

  1. Log in to your Operation Bletchley account
  2. Visiting https://events.soldierscharity.org/login/sponsors
  3. Clicking the ‘add offline donation’ button and following the instructions.

When do I need to get my fundraising in?

Fundraising closes on the 31st August 2021. All donations must be with the charity, including any cash or cheque donations. 

Please note that our offices are currently closed, and the processing of cash and cheques is taking significantly longer than usual, so please send all donations in at least two weeks ahead of the deadline. 

Paying in cash:

If you have collected cash please count this (with a witness) and then pay the cash into your bank account. You can then pay this onto your own fundraising page, send it via bank transfer or send us a cheque.

Paying in cheques:

Send cheques to the below address, with a note confirming your name and that it is for Operation Bletchley:

ABF The Soldiers' Charity
Mountbarrow House
12 Elizabeth Street
London
SW1W 9RB

Why do you not send medals out until September?

We send medals, pin badges and t-shirts out in September as this gives us time to order exact numbers of each item. This reduces our costs significantly. 

Do I get a medal for taking part?

Yes! As long as you deliver the final message by the deadline you'll get a medal. 

These will be sent out in September. 

Any other questions?

If you have more questions, visit our contact page to get in touch. 

Contact us

If you have more questions, please feel free to contact the Agents running this mission, Agent A and Agent W. The quickest way to get hold of us is to email us on events@soldierscharity.org