Helping Hands information

HC is the exclusive distributor of the Helping Hands (also known as “Build A Hand”) activity within Australia and New Zealand and this article has been written to provide information to clients that might be interested in exploring the activity for their next conference, team meeting or staff retreat.  It’s a corporate team building activity unlike any other and is guaranteed to change the way that employees see their work and give them a renewed sense of energy and purpose.
For those of you who have not heard about this particular activity before, then we would strongly advise you to check out the below video. This is definitely one of the cases where a picture says a thousand words!

I’m normally pretty cynical about Team Building / Conference activities. However, the first time I experienced the Helping Hands activity, it literally blew me away. Basically, attendees at this activity get the chance to build artificial hands for later donation overseas. The artificial hands that teams build literally find their way to an amputee land-mine victim that would not otherwise be able to afford a prosthesis.
Professional facilitation, as always, is key to ensuring that you get the most out of the activity. HC has a team of facilitators that have all received specialist training in running this particular program. However, unlike with other team building companies, we think that this activity is just too cool to keep to ourselves. So if you can’t afford for us to facilitate for you, then we provide ALL the information and training that you will need to be able to facilitate the activity yourself!
Activity Kick Off
At the start of the activity, participants are provided with a bag of parts. They typically feel a little overwhelmed and are usually less than motivated to participate as memories of pointless and annoying team building activites from their past flood back to them.
THEN, we show a video which normally hits participants for six! All of a sudden, they realise that the activity they are engaged in today has a purpose. They realise that if they work well together, they will literally be changing someone’s life on the other side of the world….. Needless to say, at this point normally energy levels immediately go through the roof!

The build
In groups of 3, the teams then go about building the hands. There are detailed instructions provided, so all groups are set up for success. As an added challenge, normally participants bind one of their hands during the build process to further remind them of why they are doing the activity. Often individual participants will take on unique roles within the team and, as with any team, there will be interesting team dynamics that emerge to debrief at the end of the activity.
Decoration of the packaging
Each hand is put into a container which has been uniquely decorated by participants. This is a critical component of the activity. Some people will feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of building a hand and will prefer to use their artistic skills during the exercise. BUT it’s way more than just an outlet for those of us that are more artistic than others… finish reading til the end of this article to find out why!
The help desk
During the activity a help desk is setup, where participants can go to ask technical questions if they are having trouble putting together the hand. The person behind the help desk needs to be fully trained in building the hands before the activity commences.

Completion and photographs
Once groups complete the task, they bring their decorated container up to the front of the room and have a photo taken with it as a team. This photo is then put with the hand so that the recipients can see a picture of the people that made their hand for them.
Activity debrief
It is critical to ensure that there is a detailed discussion at the end of the activity. This activity can be a particularly emotional and exciting experience for many people and we find that you just need to provide people with the space to share this with their fellow team-mates. A thorough debrief is also important as it ensures that participants are reminded of the unique challengest that their organisation faces. As with most team building activities, the range of behaviours or mindsets that can be debriefed at the conclusion of this activity is diverse and depends on what your organisation’s intentions are. This is where expert facilitation can really make the difference!
Once the debrief is completed, a “post build” video is played. This video really drums home how much of a big difference the hands that have just been made will make to their recipients. It also is a fantastic way to complete the activity as it ensures that all participants are left energised and with a renewed sense of purpose..
A momento to remember the activity by
At the conclusion of the activity, each participant is left with a small metal key-chain style clip that they can keep. It’s just a little thing. But it’s important as it ensures that once the participants go back to their day-jobs, they still have a little reminder of the overwhelming sense of purpose that they experienced during the activity.
Quality control
Once the activity is completed, all hands are shipped back to the company that designed them to ensure that they are built properly. This company does a range of quality checks and then ships them to where they are needed most.
Feedback from recipients
Wherever possible, pictures of the actual recipients, holding the hands they have been given (along with their uniquely decorated packaging) find their way back to HC and we then send these pictures through to the companies that made the hands. This part of the process is not something that can be guaranteed all of the time. Some of the locations in which the hands are distributed are not technologically advanced. We also rely on a range of separate charity organisations to distribute these and when push comes to shove… if we had a choice, we’d always prefer that they ensure the hands are distributed and fitted correctly than taking pictures for our own gratification.
For those of you wondering about the kind of difference that this activity makes, why not check out the following video:

There are a range of spare parts and tools that are distributed as part of this activity. These spare parts are returned, along with the hands and are recycled for the next group that builds the hands. This ensures that nothing goes to waste and that the impact of our resources and efforts is maximised within our global community.
Team size
Helping Hands works best when there are 3 people in each group. Having smaller numbers ensures that each person has to take an active role in building the hand. Organisations can choose to have larger teams involved in the activity, but we find that this is less than ideal.
Duration and integration of the activity into your agenda
The activity takes between 1.5 to 3 hours to complete and is the perfect conclusion to a 1 day off-site or workshop. Participants are left feeling energised, inspired and filled with a sense of purpose. Our advice would be to NOT try and stretch this activity out to take any longer than this. Keep it as a high impact component of your broader agenda and make sure that you spend the rest of the time getting through other content as you wish.
Batch size
When you purchase this activity, there is a lot more that goes with it then just the hand. There are videos, spare parts, tools and materials to help bind participant hands. For this reason, the hands are normally distributed in standardised kit sizes of ten. If your organisation only has need for a smaller number of hands than we can also help meet your needs. However, we do have a number of additional requests in such instances so as to make this work.
Why not contact us via email for more information: [email protected]

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25 thoughts on “Helping Hands information”

  1. Hi!, I am working as a program coordinator at Outward Bound Australia, which is a non for profit organisation. We run lot of programs for teenages to provide experiential learning based on outdoor activites etc.
    in few days time we been ask to organise a program to provide a refugee experience to our young adults. I was looking for one activity were team can built something to take home and connect to people on the other side of the world. This actiivity of your does fits very close to the aim.
    My question is will be possible for year 9 girls to complete the task and how much it will cost us if I need to organise 16 sets.


    1. I coordinate a program for yr 9 students where the focus is working in small groups to complete a project to help a community group. Just wondering if your program would be suitable for 16 year old students and what would be the cost involved.


      Michelle Wilson

      1. Hi Michelle,

        We’ve sent you all the information that you should need via email.

        Call us on (02) 8061-3918 if you have any more questions.

        Kind Regards,


  2. Interested in this activity for a Country Club activity for men and womens group.

    What is the cost for 10 hands?

    1. Hi Annette. As we discussed via email recently the costs vary depending on a few parameters. Thanks for your interest and we hope to work together really soon on this initiative 🙂

  3. Saw the program on weekend sunrise and very impressed.
    I am a volunteer member of the Victorian Country Fire Authority and feel it would be a great team building exercise for our members at my local brigade.
    Could you please provide further information including costing so I can put it forward to the Brigade Mangement team with hopefully positive results

    Kind Regards Ian Page

    1. Hi Ian,

      Thanks for your interest! I’ve just sent you an email directly and hope that it finds you well.

      Call us on (02) 8061-3918 if you have any more questions.

      Kind Regards,


  4. Hi There, I work for a large banking/insurance group and we are often looking for volunteering opportunities. I saw this on Weekend Sunrise yesterday and thought it looked like a great option. Can you send me some more info so I can pass it onto the appropriate people and see whether we can get involved. Kind regards Mike

  5. Please provide details about the program. Saw it on Sunday yesterday and enjoyed reading the program details on your site.

    1. Thanks Heidi. We’ve been inundated with inquiries. I’m pretty sure that we’ve already been in touch with you separately via email. If that’s not the case please just give us a buzz on (02) 8061-3918.

  6. Hi, my Name is Katie Ellis and I am a 19 year old girl who is currently studying Health Science at RMIT University yet hoping to transfer into Prosthetics and Orthotics at LaTrobe at the end of this year. I currently have a part time job making orthotics and have been working there for a few months now. I would love this opportunity to volunteer with your ‘helping hands’ project not only for the experience of a life time yet to gain a deeper insight to the effect that my career will have on those all around the world.

    1. Hi Katie,

      Thanks for your interest. We do not have many volunteering opportunities however I would be happy to meet with you next time I’m in Melbourne.

      I’ll ask my assistant Kelly to get in touch with you, get all of your details and try and coordinate something over the next week or so.

      Thanks for your passion and chosen career path!


  7. Good morning Matt,

    Like the others i watched your segment on weekend Sunrise and was inspired to get my workplace involved with such a moving cause – I work for a company callled Collection House in Brisbane and we support a different charity every month – I know the staff here at Collection House would love to participate in an activity as worthy as this one is it possible for you to send me an email with the details involved for me to put forward to our upper managment team here.

    Kind regards,


    1. Thanks for your interest Helene! I’ve just sent some initial information to you via email. Please do not hesitate to call us on (02) 8061-3918 if you would like any more information.


  8. I am in a small country town in WA and thought it would be great to have the community get involved.
    How much would it be for 10 hand’s?.

    1. Hi Mark,

      Thanks for your interest. Kelly will send you an email with further information. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call on (02) 8061-3918 if you require anything further.

      Kind Regards,

  9. Wow! I accidentally found your website and I am very impressed. Do you work with groups in the US or know of any organization that does this in the US?

    1. Hi Roberta,

      We are very happy to work with organisations in the US however normally it works out to be more cost effective to work with our US-based partners, Odyssey Teams. I’ll send through details of our contact at Odyssey separately via email.

      Kind Regards,


  10. Hi,

    I am interested in getting more information in regards to building the hands and an esitmate of the cost please.
    What an amazing thing you are doing!!!

    1. Hi Ray.

      Thank you for your interest in the Helping Hands Program. Kelly will get in touch and send you an email that has some more information. If you do require anything further please don’t hesitate to give us a call on (02) 8061-3918.


  11. Hi
    I recently did the Helping hands exercise with the Langley Group. It was fantastic and I am interested in running it here in Perth.
    Can you please tell me the approximate cost and process? I am happy to facilitate the process however I also realise that you need to have some capability in building the hands for it to be effective so keen to understand how you work your way through that.
    Kind regards

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